Carpet Pages II: Roots is the second in a series of group shows presented by artist and curator Vaishali Prazmari. The dazzling title pages of both Islamic and Medieval European manuscript books were called Carpet Pages in reference to their intricate rug-like patterns. These exquisitely detailed and highly ornamented and illuminated surfaces were covered in arabesques and geometric patterns and often included the use of gold and jewel-like, precious pigments. As book pages are sequential, so future shows will build on this second chapter. The curator’s love of carpets also reflects the wider goal of this show sequence which is to bring together diverse artists with similar interests into a whole; to unite disparate elements into a unified pattern, which is one of the goals of rug-making itself. Carpets are visual feasts for the eye and this second iteration in the Carpet Pages cycle promises the same. The talented artists in this exhibition are all adepts in their chosen medium and their exciting work ranges from paintings to textiles, geometry to figuration, giant sculptural pieces to tiny miniatures and traditional to contemporary art.
This exhibition focuses on the motif of roots, which contains a multiplicity of ideas – the physical structure of plant roots; the natural pigments and dyes made from roots used in carpet weaving; the metaphorical nature of ancestral roots; roots that link to a homeland; feeling rooted in the earth or in a place, space or time. They can be etymological. They can be a process. Roots can be the basic cause, origin or source of something; they can be its seed, germ or beginning; they can be its heart, foundation or essence. They can be hierarchical or rhizomatic. In a Deleuzian rhizome-like pattern, the centre is everywhere. The connections between branching root structures can be thought of as nodes, which leads to non-binary, multidimensional thinking; this interconnectedness has no privileged viewpoint and invites multiple perspectives and interpretations which in turn is reflected in the spontaneous and surprising connections between the various pieces in the show.