Ssaturday an exhibition of exclusive rugs by Lande Anjous-Zygmunt’s Modernafricanart opened at the Quintessence in Lagos. The collection from the Swedish-based firm is a new art medium sporting hand-woven imprints of notable paintings from notable artists like Bruce Onobrakpeya, Nike Okundaye-Davies, Sam Ovraiti, Ehi Obinyan and Tola Wewe on Persian rugs produced by Bargi AB rug makers via an old-age hand-knotted method.
“They’d been making rugs for 2,000 years and when I visited them and saw all the patterns, I said let’s make them with African designs,” said Anjous-Zygmunt. “I am starting and trying to lay the foundation. It is an extension of the original art or a new voice.”
While dwelling extensively on an age-old method that uses fine quality wool sourced from sheep in the Himalayans, Anjous Zygmunt added that an agreement with the selected artists whose works were involved was in place for the rugs that take months to assemble. This collection of 20 pieces will be on display for interested parties to place orders before the show moves to Abuja and other cities.
“It is a craft that is 3000 years old and we are trying to preserve it,” she added. “It is functional art and it is also up to the owner what they want to do with it. You can either hang it or leave it on the floor.”
Accompanying the exhibition is a 68-page catalogue highlighting the background to the collection and its place in the contemporary world. Titled African on the Floor; A New Voice and Medium for Contemporary African Art, it came from her beliefs in documenting.
“It is good to document the whole process and I go into a lot of traditional art. It brings us right back home to traditional art which is art with a purpose. Lots of art have inspired the rugs and for me, it is like a collaborative effort.