Archive for the ‘Tim Bonyhady’ Category

External influences: Land Mine warning

August 29, 2004

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Images such as this suggest the influence of outsiders in the design, production and purpose of some war rugs. While this is a much larger issue than the specific questions raised by this example, the whole nature of the design process is something I’d like to know much more about.

The construction of this rug is among the finest I have encountered, suggesting a high degree of control over the circumstances of its production. Perhaps the outcome of an NGO initiative in a Pakistan refugee camp? The precision of the English text suggests a designer with a high degree of literacy. And, of course, the fact that the text is in English suggests, contradictorily, that the intended market was the outside world, far from the problem depicted…

The English text reads: “IF YOU SEE ONE MINE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MANY OTHERS AROUND IT”, and, “RETURNING HOME DISCOURAGING AFGHANS FRAM 10 TO 30 MILLION MINES”

This rug is in the Sydney collection of Richard Elliott. Elliot’s role in the collecting of rugs for the Sydney art dealer Ray Hughes is described in Tim Bonyhady’s essay in The Rugs of War, an extract of which is over the fold:
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Tim Bonyhady

June 16, 2004

In 2003 Tim Bonyhady contributed the following essay to The Rugs of War catalogue:

Out of Afghanistan

International interest in Afghanistan was intense in the late 1980s. While the political and military implications of the mujahideen’s defeat of the Soviet Union commanded most attention, the cultural consequences of the war also attracted an international audience. An exhibition of eighty ‘Russian-Afghan War Carpets’ staged by an Italian rug dealer, Luca Brancati, was pivotal. After opening in Turin in May 1988 as the first Soviet troops were preparing to quit Kabul, these rugs went on tour to other Italian cities as the Soviet withdrawal gathered pace, and then travelled to the United States as the last Soviet soldiers quit Afghanistan in February 1989.
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rugsofwar bibliography

April 29, 2004

The bibiography prepared by Tim Bonyhady for The Rugs of War catalogue lists all our known references to war rugs – and will grow as contributions and suggestions roll in! Please let us know if anything is missing…
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