Canvas To Carpet was the first major solo exhibition of British artist Allistair Covell, presenting a series of hand-knotted carpets as the centrepiece to a display that surveyed the artist’s creative practice over the last five years.
The carpets, handcrafted in Afghanistan by Turquoise Mountain and Nepal by Rug Maker, are woven interpretations of Covell’s vibrant and rhythmic abstract paintings, themselves inspired by the artist’s synaesthesic responses to music and sound.
Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon, a condition best described as a ‘union of the senses’ where one sensory experience prompts another. For Covell synaesthesia grants him the ability to see colour upon hearing musical notes. Music is an ever-changing audiovisual landscape, with sounds appearing as different shapes, tones and textures. Covell mixes his synaesthetic experiences with traditional art subjects such as abstract depictions of people, places, events or memories.
Visitors to the gallery had the opportunity to experience the creative journey from canvas to carpet, learning about the techniques the distant weavers used to interpret and faithfully translate Covell’s energetic brushwork into unique, hand-woven compositions.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
In 2014, Covell won the inaugural Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover. This was Covell’s first experience of creating a composition solely for a carpet and, driven by the fascination of the artistic heritage and traditional techniques involved in making carpets, he began to translate his paintings into woven artworks.
Covell is currently a fellow of the Digswell Arts Trust, and is an elected member of Design-Nation, the premium portfolio for Craft, Design and Product in the UK.