A new route has been added to the many infinite pathways that have been marked out over the centuries to bring lands, tales and cultures of Europe and the Near East closer together. A literal example of this accomplishment is designed by Antonio Marras and Amini, joining two unique geographies: Sardinia and Afghanistan. To achieve this they have put together what they hold most dear and know best: the traditions and expertise of their respective lands.
The pages of this atlas are the 11 carpets/tapestries that Antonio Marras has made exercising full creative freedom on as many traditional Afghan kilims in hand-twisted wool, and woven by Amini. Only three basic colors – black, burgundy, ecru – have been agreed. Marras worked on these kilims as if they were canvases; instead of painting them, he placed fragments on them (he calls them “ideas”) that highly skilled embroiderers from Bitti, a village in the Barbagia region of Sardinia, then proceed to embroider by hand, stitch by stitch. The “fragments” that the designer used are (in his words) «the inner coatings of jackets, or linings: the canvases that cover and reinforce the structure of my clothes. I worked with the inside materials, with leftover pieces, with what is usually thrown away, cast aside, and that instead I have taken up and put back in place, reshaped, reformed». Thus combinations of seemingly distant elements arise in a sort of executive dichotomy. In his pursuit of correspondence between apparently diverse contexts Marras has also used precious elements, fished out from the depths of his archive, which he draws upon for unique interventions in his fashion creations. «The stories I tell are always born from a personal setting» he explains. The words of Sardinian artist Maria Lai, who inspired Marras’s technical research, come to mind: «We must stop and listen to the voice of things because these would have spoken». The designer’s carpets/tapestries indeed tell stories. One only needs to tune in. «Ultimately, as if by magic, everything has taken a new shape under a new form of balance. I believe that these rugs can tell stories just by looking at them. They lift you up and take you elsewhere. Into another dimension. Perhaps along a journey. Or into a forest, or a beach. Sitting on these rugs you can read out the stories that maybe you have deep inside, but have not yet managed to voice and, seeing them reflected around you, you will tap into them».
“I like the fact that a carpet can be handed down, passing on from home to home. I like touching it and imagine who handled it first, who owned and loved.”
About Antonio Marras
Antonio Marras was born in Alghero, where he lives and works. In 1987 he designed his first collection. In 1991 he was selected to show during High Fashion in Rome. The following year in Paris presents the collection Le nuvole. From the first experiences in fashion Marras stands out for his experiments, for his ability to “feel” the different realities around him, the mix with art, with music, with dance, with theater, with cinema: fashion, for him, is the link with other languages, a new alphabet that can communicate with others. Marras crosses all the declinations of visual culture, from decorations to details from epochs and seemingly irreconcilable worlds. His icons are anarchic and irregular figures, impossible to classify.