Afghan Carpets

Thursday, 27 November 2014

I’m regularly amazed at how many people I know who have spent time in Afghanistan, have connections with Afghanistan or even visit the country.

IMG_2099 - Baluch cat carpet - 270

Alexandra and Leigh Copeland have been dealing with Afghan carpets ever since they spent time in the country in the early 1970s. They came back from a recent trip to Peshawar in Pakistan with a collection of new (and old) carpets to show at their Melbourne, Australia gallery Weft.

◄ We bought this one, which now sits just inside the entrance to our house in Australia. It’s from the Baluchistan region of south-west Afghanistan and those angry looking square animals are snow leopards. The Copelands’ commented that ‘most Afghan weavers obey the Koran and do not make “graven images.” A small group of Baluch weavers do indulge in wonderful woven imagery.’

View of Mt Fuj - 540 After we’d taken it home I exchanged a couple of emails with the Copelands talking about art, Japan and Mt Fuji. The responded with this view of Mount Fuji. ‘The design (detail) is a Baluch-speaking weaver’s version of the round illustrated labels found on bolts of fabric sold in the bazaars of Afghanistan. We’ve found six versions of this rug over the last 12 years – handwoven in different places in Afghanistan, and from different tribal groups. We collected this “View of Mt Fuji” on our recent carpet-buying trip to Peshawar.’ Alexandra Copeland also does beautiful ceramics – and sometimes not so beautiful ceramics like the bat plate I wrote about in a posting on Aussie Wildlife a couple of years ago.