Archive for the ‘Other references’ Category

war carpets as inspiration

April 12, 2009

See the blog of  the Chicago artist Barbara Koenen who re-makes war carpets in a surprising material…


Weavings of War – Fabrics of Memory: Ariel Zeitlin Cooke’s new online catalogue

October 20, 2008

See Ariel’s catalogue plus a walk-through of the exhibition now online.

Treasures from Afghanistan

May 25, 2008

See the notice on artdaily of the breathtaking exhibition of treasures in Washington.


April 6, 2008

is the name of Max Allen’s exhibition in Toronto.

More coverage once we see it!

Prince Harry product placement

March 1, 2008


breaking news: now that Prince Harry has been outed as having been serving for the last ten weeks in Helmand province, we can reveal his interest in war carpets… Maybe he bought it on ebay? You too can have one just like it for $0.99. There are 21 listed as “hard to find…” Now wait for war carpets with Prince Harry as the subject… And from The Guardian (no pun intended), another view… you can read the text here – and does anyone see the irony in the fact that it’s a “defeat of the Soviets” motif in the war carpet Prince Harry has his foot on?


narcomansions in Kabul

February 17, 2008


I didn’t stop to enquire the rental of these three dimensional carpets…

Woven Witness: Afghan War Rugs at San Jose

August 27, 2007

Catalogue cover page

I was delighted to be invited to the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum, in San Jose, California, to participate in a weekend of discussions about war carpets. Two of the three exhibitions – a selection from the Collection of Patricia Markovich, of Oakland, California, plus the travelling exhibition  “Weavings of War: Fabrics of Memory” (curated Ariel Zeitlin Cooke, and written with Marsha MacDowell and available here), were of relevance to the study of Afghan war carpets. In addition, the Museum had the Afghan Freedom Quilt on display, and in this catalogue has published (in both English and Farsi) the personal histories of its makers. The stories which emerge in all of these exhibitions and texts remind us of the depths to which the circumstances of war drives its victims, and yet how powerfully evocative are the forms of textile art and communication which result. The catalogue is published by the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, 520 South First Street, San Jose, California 95113-2806. Tel 408.970.0323, The catalogue includes revised versions of the essays first published by Nigel Lendon and Tim Bonyhady in The Rugs of War, 2003.

Caught in the crossfire

August 27, 2007


This from the Sydney Morning Herald, via The Telegraph, London.

Australia’s Afghan history: a sorry tale

August 2, 2007

Here’s the display in the National Museum of Australia.




Some would argue that the White Australia Policy, officially laid to rest in the 1970s, has emerged again in the racially biased attitudes towards refugees and ethnic profiling in the last two decades. Mahomet Allum ran out of time…

Helicopters and other images in Afghanistan and Iraq

June 13, 2007


While we’re on the theme of helicopters (see below, or type “helicopter” into the search bar), Max Allen points us to this example – a helicopter appearing on a military patch. This is a UK/Australian/Dutch coalition Medevac patch made in Afghanistan.

Patches are of interest to the RoW project in the sense that all imagery which finds its way into the public domain (logos, postage stamps, posters, television, videos etc.) has the potential to be appropriated by rug-designers. And this is especially relevant with respect to images of militaria and other images which carry specific ideological messages.

As Max comments, military personnel sew embroidered patches on the shoulders of their uniforms to identify the unit to which they belong. The patches range from simple to elaborate, sometimes incorporating recognizable imagery and writing; until recently, official U.S. patches were colourful but are now only in in the dull browns and greens of camouflage.

In addition to the official unit patches, there are so-called “Friday patches” which military personnel wear on their off-duty clothing. Early in the various Gulf Wars these unofficial American patches were often stunningly vulgar (as in the final example below). They are not produced anymore.

Both kinds show weaponry drawn in an outline style and using isometric perspective that has been copied on (or from) the war rugs. This aircraft carrier appears in the Twin Towers rugs:


Here are some other examples from Max’s collection…