War Rugs with Love
Just as a plant makes no mistake in turning towards the light, so man makes no mistake in following Revelation and, in consequence, in following tradition. There is something infallible in the natural instinct of animals, and also in the ‘supernatural instinct’ of men; but man is the only ‘animal’ capable of going against nature as such, either wrongly by violating it, or else by transcending it.
Diversity of Revelation, Frithjof Schuon
Begin making your home with a beautiful foundation
The caption above was placed on a Land Reform Company’s advertisement in an American magazine in the 1980’s with an image of a timber-house under construction, sporting a Persian rug on its bare plywood floor. Memory of that image with that particular tagline is rekindled today at War Rugs with Love, Nida Bangash’s debut solo show in Pakistan. Fibered with an idea of redefining endurance, works in this show discard the globally politicized phenomenon of a ‘war rug’ to position its ingredients back to its timeless framework.
The threads begin to weave in Bangash’s birthplace Mashhad, Iran where in 2007, she commences the traditional art practice quotient of her MA (Hons.) Visual Arts Program, National College of Arts, Lahore. Under the supervision of Khanume Tawakolean, an old lady heading the carpet-weaving workshop, she produces a portion of a small rug adorned with a Persian arabesque pattern. For this show, the object culminates as War Rug 1 interpreting the most widely known reason of an armed conflict as a house, which marks nailed territories encompassing power, possession, control and security.
The yarn is interlaced inside the house, a War Rug 2 becomes a demarcation of the aforementioned ideals, set on the human scale of a prayer rug. War Mannequins 1 and 2 dwell into the minds and hearts of its inhabitants as portraits hinting on the inherent theatrics of domesticity and family life. Conclusively, Tree of Life puts forth twofold realities and binary forces breathing in and out- war and love.