Bamiyan and Beyond – in partnership with Turquoise Mountain
Curated by Lucy Hammond Giles of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, our latest installation celebrates a new collection of rugs by Christopher Farr in partnership with Turquoise Mountain. Founded by His Majesty King Charles in 2006, Turquoise Mountain’s mission is to revive traditional crafts and areas of historic interest, providing jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride in locations where cultural heritage is under threat.
United by a dedication to heritage craft skills, Christopher Farr’s long-standing relationship with Turquoise Mountain has resulted in a new collection of rugs crafted by Bamiyan women weavers, showcasing the strong cultural heritage of Afghanistan and its centuries-old weaving communities. Joining the collaboration is decorator Hammond Giles, bringing her passion for craftsmanship and decorative storytelling abilities to the Bamiyan and Beyond project.
On visiting Bamiyan in Afghanistan with Turquoise Mountain, the Christopher Farr team were enthralled by the essence of the place and people. Taking inspiration from the traditional Mandala rugs, we were drawn to translating this beautiful visual diagram into a more contemporary rug design, Infinity. Traditional Mandala rugs were used by monks on which to sit before an icon and meditate, to contemplate their position in the universe. The new design is a response to the very powerful idea that we are part of a whole and that our actions have consequences. Further, we developed the Meditation taking a single element from the more traditional rug applied overscale with definition given by raised areas and reliefs, giving a more graphic and pared back aesthetic.
The ‘Bamiyan and Beyond’ journey begins with windows partially obscured with sheer fabric blinds and clusters of leaves, the view leading through to an ornately carved arch, inspired by courtyard arcades from traditional houses in the Old City of Kabul. “Depths of colour were introduced through a Christopher Farr Cloth seagrass wallcovering in cobalt and sofas upholstered in oxide red linen, tying into the palette of the rugs and giving them a fantastic backdrop. We used furniture, both modern and antique, by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to create space for collected objects and books of interest,” explains Lucy. “Bowls from the famed village of Istalif near Kabul hang on the walls, ranging from the initial fired bases, to those incised with patterns, and finally to the end product glazed in fabulous traditional turquoise. We have made cushions in panels woven by the women of Myanmar. These outstanding crafts continue to be of the highest decorative value and add crucial layers to our homes both in terms of how they look and how they make us feel.”
We invite you to visit the London King’s Road showroom, settle down on the sofas, and experience some of the cultural heritage of Afghanistan and the Levant.
‘Bamiyan and Beyond’ installation until the start of May 2023.
Christopher Farr, 585 King’s Road, London SW6 2EH
More traditional design:
2.75 x 3.2m, hand knotted wool
More contemporary design:
Meditation (on Blue, or on Red or on Grey)
2.75 x 3.2m, hand knotted wool and silk
With huge thanks for Lucy Hammond Giles of Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler. For more information on Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler furniture, antiques or art, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7518 8526
To find out more turquoisemountain.org