Arrows of Life:
Two years in the making, Arrows of Life is the latest facet of the Tribal Weave Project, by Iranian-born artist Taher Asad-Bakhtiari. With Arrows, Asad-Bakhtiari continues his study of traditional kilim and gabbeh, now experimenting with unbound, non-traditional geometrical shapes. The result is a series of light, woven arrows devoid of stitched borders that seamlessly intermingle peeled-through layers of gabbeh and kilim weaves.
Commenting on the inspiration behind the triangle shapes, Asad-Bakhtiari says: “I’m a Saggitarius and to me, the arrow stands for the values or energies – think peace, or success, or love – that we throw into our lives. The arrows are symbols of how we unleash these energies, watch them gain momentum and experience where they end up pointing.”
The collection – created in Afghanistan by local female weavers as part of the Fatima Bin Zayed Initiative – celebrates the novelty of mixity and borderless space in woven artifacts. With Arrows, Asad-Bakhtiari continues to position himself within today’s transdisciplinary global debate on the interplay of structure, individuality and tradition.
Each arrow is part of an edition of 50.
The Tribal Weave Project:
The Tribal Weave Project is an ongoing body of work by artist Taher Asad-Bakhtiari in which transformed kilims and gabbehs become a platform for new artistic expression. A collaboration between the artist and female weavers in Iran and now Afghanistan, the Tribal Weave Project honors traditional craft of woven artifacts techniques while encouraging the weavers to re-think their craft in contemporary paragons of design and functionality.
Under Asad-Bakhtiari’s guidance, the carpet-weaving craft undergoes radical re-examination: piles are exposed, kilim and gabbeh weaves mix with each other and new weaves are added to the equation. Classic kilim and gabbeh design patterns are bown up in size, boiling down as it were, the essence of traditional tribal aesthetics as we know them.
Woven from plant-dyed, handspun sheep wool, each piece can take between 2-6 months to produce depending on size and number of weaving techniques used. With endless combinations to play with, each piece is also unique, a fusion of the artist’s creative vision and the spirit of the weavers who produce them. Comprising at this time the Kilim Series, the Gabbeh Series and the Arrows of Life, the Tribal Weave Project is a constantly evolving artistic project, dedicated to preserving a traditional craft through reinventing it as contemporary design product.