RETOLD Mahal Blue Field

design by
Dana Barnes

USA, 2017


“The original idea came about from a collection of antique Persian rugs that I acquired from an estate sale of the prior owner of my current studio, Pat Passlof, an abstract expressionist painter. With several of these lying around, I began to study them and became fascinated with the history of the Persian carpets and how the identity of rulers, regions, towns and even nomadic tribes were linked to the unique variations in patterns, colors, and weaving techniques evident in the carpets.
So I began an extemporaneous process of applying, layering and infusing vibrant wool fibers on the traditional hand knotted carpet sort of like the ductus of a painter’s palette knife and brush on a canvas creating movements and textures of clotted, caked sculptural surfaces. Amini has an extensive collection of stunning antique rugs and based on our conversations, Ferid Amini hand-picked a selection giving careful consideration to pattern subtlety, rich vegetable dyed palettes, and specific regions of design interest. The rugs chosen come from the following areas: Bidjar Persia, Mahal Persia, Turkestan Tekke, Saruk Farahan, Heriz Persia.
For this project, a custom technique was developed in my studio specifically to bond the layers of wool fibers into the Persian rugs. First, a multiple needle tool, specially designed in the studio for this application is used to meld the fibers into the hand knotted carpets in a way that does not damage them. After that, a technique that has similarities to the wet felting process is applied. These steps, followed by a few other technical steps developed in the studio that further integrate the new with the old and achieve a visually cohesive piece complete a very unique and labor intensive process.
I’ve named the edition / series RETOLD with each individual piece identified by its region/dye/motif, etc. (a detail relating to its original story).The idea behind the title is that since I am infusing each antique Persian with a new organic textural form, the narrative evolves for the entire piece in a way that both coexists and celebrates its rich history. My intention is that this process serves to in some way liberate the Persian from its formulaic and highly structured original format, creating a sort of adaptation from its original story.”


Pile composition: wool and silk Technique: hand knotted Size. 350x264 cm


Dana Barnes


Dana Barnes Studio approaches its work with relentless hands-on experimentation of matericals, techniques and process creating textural compositions, sculptural objects and works for a contemporary urban context. Tactual, sensual qualities layered with ambiguous gesture and references to age-old tecniques inform the 3-dimensional, large scale structures. The studio’s primary focus has been fibers and textiles as a medium of limitless possibilities, and is now extending to works using wood, metal, stone and verdurous elements.

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RETOLD Mahal Blue Field

USA, 2017

“The original idea came about from a collection of antique Persian rugs that I acquired from an estate sale of the prior owner of my current studio, Pat Passlof, an abstract expressionist painter. With several of these lying around, I began to study them and became fascinated with the history of the Persian carpets and how the identity of rulers, regions, towns and even nomadic tribes were linked to the unique variations in patterns, colors, and weaving techniques evident in the carpets. So I began an extemporaneous process of applying, layering and infusing vibrant wool fibers on the traditional hand knotted carpet sort of like the ductus of a painter’s palette knife and brush on a canvas creating movements and textures of clotted, caked sculptural surfaces. Amini has an extensive collection of stunning antique rugs and based on our conversations, Ferid Amini hand-picked a selection giving careful consideration to pattern subtlety, rich vegetable dyed palettes, and specific regions of design interest. The rugs chosen come from the following areas: Bidjar Persia, Mahal Persia, Turkestan Tekke, Saruk Farahan, Heriz Persia. For this project, a custom technique was developed in my studio specifically to bond the layers of wool fibers into the Persian rugs. First, a multiple needle tool, specially designed in the studio for this application is used to meld the fibers into the hand knotted carpets in a way that does not damage them. After that, a technique that has similarities to the wet felting process is applied. These steps, followed by a few other technical steps developed in the studio that further integrate the new with the old and achieve a visually cohesive piece complete a very unique and labor intensive process. I’ve named the edition / series RETOLD with each individual piece identified by its region/dye/motif, etc. (a detail relating to its original story).The idea behind the title is that since I am infusing each antique Persian with a new organic textural form, the narrative evolves for the entire piece in a way that both coexists and celebrates its rich history. My intention is that this process serves to in some way liberate the Persian from its formulaic and highly structured original format, creating a sort of adaptation from its original story.”

Pile composition: wool and silk Technique: hand knotted Size. 350x264 cm

Dana Barnes

Dana Barnes Studio approaches its work with relentless hands-on experimentation of matericals, techniques and process creating textural compositions, sculptural objects and works for a contemporary urban context. Tactual, sensual qualities layered with ambiguous gesture and references to age-old tecniques inform the 3-dimensional, large scale structures. The studio’s primary focus has been fibers and textiles as a medium of limitless possibilities, and is now extending to works using wood, metal, stone and verdurous elements.

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