Fresh can­vas

Max Gim­blett’s new range of floor rugs

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New York-based New Zealand de­signer Lucy Tupu and Max Gim­blett have de­vel­oped a range of 12 rugs from the artist’s lesser-known ink-on-pa­per works. How did the project start? LUCY TUPU Max and I met in the Fall of 2016 in New York at a Kiwi event. Be­ing a huge fan of his work, I im­me­di­ately in­tro­duced my­self. Dur­ing our chat, I men­tioned I would love to visit his stu­dio – the fol­low­ing week we were sit­ting to­gether in his Bowery stu­dio of some 30-odd years and be­gan dis­cussing a col­lab­o­ra­tion. I knew this was an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity and a very spe­cial chance for me to work along­side Max. You drew from Gim­blett’s work on pa­per – what was the ap­peal? His colour­ful paint­ings have deep roots in the New Zealand and New York City art scenes and our goal was to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of rugs in­spired by his lesser known works. We chose this medium be­cause we felt it would trans­late best to the tex­tu­ral, wo­ven form. We con­sid­ered many art­works be­fore end­ing up with the fi­nal 12 de­signs that make up the col­lec­tion. How do you adapt them with­out los­ing the spirit of the orig­i­nal work? There are dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and fab­ri­ca­tion tech­niques to make rugs and car­pets. The phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of Max’s art lend them­selves to be ex­pressed in the tra­di­tional hand-knot­ted tech­nique – silks re­flect the care­ful gild­ing and carv­ing, em­pha­sis­ing cer­tain lines. The unique dy­ing process of wool con­veys the translu­cency of the colour­ful inks. Max paints with the mantra “all mind no mind” – a deep brush and mark on pa­per and his work comes to­gether in an in­stant. It takes many months to cre­ate a hand-knot­ted rug; this it­self gives a new mean­ing to the work, cre­at­ing a piece that is in­trin­si­cally Max yet in­cor­po­rat­ing a generational art form that re­lies on pa­tience and time. Where are the rugs made? Max’s rugs are hand-knot­ted and pro­duced in Nepal, us­ing lo­cal Ti­betan wool and silks, and gen­er­ally take 12 to 16 weeks to pro­duce. All the rugs are cer­ti­fied by Good­weave, an or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to end­ing child labour and forced and bonded labour in global sup­ply chains.


Lucy Tupu

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