Canvas To Carpet is the first major solo exhibition of British artist Allistair Covell. The exhibition presents a series of Covell’s abstract hand-knotted carpets as the centrepiece to a display that surveys the artist’s creative practice over the last five years. The carpets, or ‘woven paintings’ as Covell refers to them, are handcrafted in Afghanistan by Turquoise Mountain, and Nepal by Rug Maker to the artist’s design. The preparatory paintings, iPad sketches and ink drawings that Covell supplies to these distant carpet weavers will also be on display alongside their textile counterparts.
The exhibition reveals how the carpets maintain the rhythmic energy and spontaneity of the expressive brush strokes or splashes of colour that feature heavily in Covell’s work, inspired by the artist’s synaesthetic responses to music and sound. The exhibition is intended as a tribute to the carpet weavers, and how they have translated so masterfully Covell’s original compositions into another medium.
In 2014 Covell won the inaugural Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover, and since Spring 2017 has been an elected member of Design-Nation, the premium portfolio for Craft, Design and Product in the UK. Covell is currently a fellow of the Digswell Arts Trust, and has a studio based in Letchworth.