People
Interview with Antonio Marras

The carpet is first and foremost an object that changes with time and shapes the appearance of a room. Something you can walk on barefoot, lie down and roll around on. It beckons you to wrap yourself in it. It’s like a book waiting to be written. A blank page or a canvas which you can really fill out to tell a story. 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…”

How did your business relationship with Amini begin? What is it like to work with a company like Amini?
We met in 2017 and we immediately clicked. A mutual understanding was born. Ferid Amini and I are both very attached to our land, to our origins and traditions. He is a curious person, with a natural penchant for curious interest, but he is also discreet yet determined. He has a straightforward manner and, at the same time, a sensitivity that struck me as rare. Our relationship is based on frankness.

What is the carpet for Antonio Marras?
It is first and foremost an object that changes with time and shapes the appearance of a room. Something you can walk on barefoot, lie down and roll around on. It beckons you to wrap yourself in it. It’s like a book waiting to be written. A blank page or a canvas which you can really fill out to tell a story. 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. An image that often comes to mind is that of a wayfarer who shrouds himself with a cloak, a drape, and sets off on his journey. As a child I had the enduring image of Aladdin’s flying carpet that made kids dream of far-off lands. This powerful image conjures a textile surface that takes you higher, but keep you always protected as you fly towards a new adventure.

How do these new Amini carpet collections come about?
We started with about twenty different pencil and watercolor drawings that I had made on paper. Amini chose three of them, showing amazing perspective abilities – much greater than mine will ever be! He succeeded in envisaging these patterns already fully completed, and imagined them placed in precise interiors. Two patterns are vegetable/organic and one is geometric. Color plays an important role. Amini has managed to ensure the transparency of my original sketches through like wool and silk, even mixed together. The materiality of my sketches, their brilliance and roughness: they are perfect. They are carpets, they have no connection with the hustle and bustle of today. They are not “fast food” furnishings, but they are about human existence and attention to detail.

We started with about twenty different pencil and watercolor drawings that I had made on paper. Amini chose three of them. (…) He succeeded in envisaging these patterns already fully completed, and imagined them placed in precise interiors. Two patterns are vegetable/organic and one is geometric. Color plays an important role.”

Marras, SERENA, detail

How much of your island homeland is reflected in the weave of Amini carpets?
Sardinia is a harsh land, which leaves its mark, and is deeply rooted into my psyche. It is the result of centuries of stratification of different cultures. I was born on an island within the island because Alghero is a Catalan enclave, where “Sardinians” is the name given to outsiders who were not born there. Our people live in seaside communities and have always been welcoming: Alghero is the first port that one encounters travelling eastwards from Spain. Sardinia is a generous island but at the same time a difficult country to live in. It represents a dichotomy, a place of many oxymorons, and continuous stratification. It is natural for my creations to draw upon this land of excesses: I am quick to seize upon and elaborate artistic elements that always remind me of my country.

What do you not like about the present day?
I cannot stand arrogance in people, and cannot abide bullies. I don’t like intrusiveness, or loud people in public places. I don’t like those who disturb others. I like the luxury of being able to choose places to go to and people to see. I like having the freedom to spend time only with whomever I want. I can’t always get away with it, but I always strive to find time for myself. I like to dedicate my time to important, necessary things, such as the projects I believe in. I like to grapple with subjects I know little or nothing about.

What will carpets look like in the future?
Many believe they will be in 3D, but I strongly disagree. More than ever before, I believe there is a desperate need for a more human touch; whether it is the hand, the craftsmanship, the motion, or the sign, these things make the difference in marking the unique traits of the garment, or the furnishing object. I believe that the carpet can bring solutions and radically alter the appearance of a home. … It can give that sense of warmth and snugness as if embraced. But even more, I think that there is an urgent need for items that are one-of-a-kind and that are your own, that you know were made almost exclusively for you, as if they were unique pieces. Like a painting.

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