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8 Women Artists Turning Rugs Into Art
Welcome to the rug life
Fempire 13 Apr 2021

We’ve all grown a bigger appreciation for our domestic spaces recently – I mean, how could we not – so it seems apt that textile art is grabbing our attention right now. Once considered a craft not worthy for gallery spaces, rug-making and other textile pursuits are having their moment in the limelight, with many female artists leading the pack. Redefining how we understand and interact with textiles, pattern has been replaced with textured illustration and pictorial carpets. We’re super excited about where rug art might go, so we thought we’d introduce you to 8 women artists who are transforming rugs into art!

Daisy Tortuga @daisy_tortuga

Image via @daisy_tortuga

Multi-disciplinary artist Daisy Tortuga’s work is deeply rooted in craft. Her approach to art-making is both emotional and cathartic, and usually, super fun too, incorporating food, cats and often herself. She brings domestic spaces into the gallery space, elevating craft to challenge the way it is valued and understood in the artistic world.

Arizona Smith @arizonathecat

Image via @arizonathecat

Self-taught artist Arizona Smith has recently turned to rugs after honing her skills in painting, illustration, sculpture and animation. Her rugs are manifestations of her interest in using art as a means of connection and the interpretation of dreams, emotion and reality.

Tammy Kanat @tammykanat

Image via @tammykanat

Tammy Kanat turned to textiles after a career as a jewellery designer. Having begun weaving a decade ago, Kanat has not stopped since. Her works are vibrant and meditative, a beautifully modern interpretation of the centuries-old technique of tapestry weaving. 

Selby Hurst Inglefield @selby_hi

Image via @selby_hi

Selby Hurst Inglefield uses rug punching to create wall tapestries, and most recently, cat-rug-chairs! She uses the rug punching technique to make wall tapestries based on storytelling, autobiography and fantasy. Her work is super fun, transforming the mundane domestic space into something a little more humorous.

Emma Welty @emma_welty

Image via @emma_welty

Emma Welty’s work is heavily influenced by her Armenian heritage, as a descendent of an Armenian carpet weaver. Welty uses multiple textile techniques including loom weaving and traditional Armenian needlelace. Bringing family traditions from the past and into the present. 

Alexandra Kehayoglu @alexandrakehayoglou

Image via @alexandrakehayoglou

Alexandra Kehayoglou’s work is utterly mesmerizing. Made with surplus materials, weaved together with the hand tuft technique, her textile works become beautiful landscapes, representing the places that the artist has visited. The works are made using ancient family traditions from across the world, and each one is completely unique. 

Meghan Shimek @meghanshimek

Image via @meghanshimek

Rooted in weaving, Meghan Shimek’s fiber art comes in the form of wall hangings and sculpture. Her signature weaving style has evolved over the years and reminds us of pillowy clouds that we wish we could lie on all day.

Hannah Epstein @gdgrlhanski

Image via @gdgrlhanski

Hannah Epstein’s textiles are grounded in digital media. Inspired by cartoons and folkloric tradition, everything she makes is full of humour. Her work consists of rug hooking that has been modified for contemporary contexts, creating characters that are not dissimilar to those you would find in video games.

Text Lizzy Vartanian

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