The Russian/Persian interior designer Angelina Askeri has travelled the world and makes art and history her base of inspiration to create handwoven carpets which become the centrepiece of her interiors. For this year’s Salone del Mobile she collaborated with Tapis Rouge, at the Rossana Orlandi showroom and tells us how she deals with the endless visual influences and creates carpet that become a piece of art.
IRMA: To your opinion is creativity a craft or a gift? What is the best advice to become more creative?
ANGELINA ASKERI: It is a fifty-fifty relationship. Creativity is something that moves you from inside and something that makes you search for more. The best way to maximize it is to look out for every kind of inspiration and all types of images, sights, techniques, sets, details, colour combinations and other five senses experiences to remember. Then your mind analyses all that you have seen and felt and makes a synthesis out of these experiences when you need to find some particular solution.
IRMA: What was special about the work with Tapis Rouge and what does it mean to you to have your work exhibited at Rossana Orlandi’s Creative space in Milan during this year`s Salone del Mobile?
ANGELINA ASKERI: I came up with my sketches and a general idea and Tapis Rouge team started working on it. You see, a hand-crafted rug is not that easy to make, it is not printed, it is woven by hand. It takes time and effort to produce each one of them and it makes them special.
What I like most about Tapis Rouge is their philosophic vision of rug-making from design concept to the final point of production. It was an important point for them that our avant-garde design is backed by the artistic heritage and that it is also based on a traditional way of manufacturing, on artisanal principles, so they invited me to Nepal to see the working process and the ancient Tibetan techniques of rug-making to feel that there is something more than just a product.
Their way of mastering the colours has also been amazing, as a rug fits into an interior better when the colours are muted, but they still are extremely fresh and juicy. Tapis Rouge have also created the feeling of volume and multilayer plains, and the transparency. They have experimented a lot with textures both for visual and tactile effects. I must say, I was very surprised to see what has come out of my initial sketches.
While studying in Instituto Europeo di Design in Milan, I often visited Rossana Orlandi Gallery to have a look at something unique. I have always admired Rossana as a guru of interior design and was extremely happy when she has chosen our project for the exposition. It was an honor to be one of the first Russian designers in this showroom, where the most creative people of meet every year. It is a lot of fun, a real celebration of art and design, a very enjoyable company and atmosphere with guests from all over the world.
IRMA: What about you is typical Russian?
ANGELINA ASKERI: I would say I’m rather cosmopolite, because I was born in Russia, but I have Persian roots, I studied in Italy, I live in France and I travel a lot. My love for avant-garde comes from Russia. Modernism and geometric shapes, abstract compositions of Kazimir Malevich, Wasily Kandinsky, Alexandra Exter have inspired my collection with Tapis Rouge. These artists were looking for the new forms of art and for the new ways for expressing their vision of the new time and so are we.
IRMA: In the Ad campaign for your collaboration with Tapis Rouge you are shown together with your sister who has her own Gallery.
ANGELINA ASKERI: We have always supported each other, and we also share the same space in Moscow, half of each is Polina’s gallery and another half is my interior studio. We have a passion for art, design and fashion and we like bringing it to people’s lives. Creative pieces of art and design work great for one’s mood and attitude, they set one’s mind in a positive way.
IRMA: How does art influence your work?
ANGELINA ASKERI: I have my own private collection of art and I buy pieces of art for my interior projects. It is one of my greatest passions, so I am always looking for something that strikes me. The objects that contain historic references and that have a certain philosophy attract me most of all the others and I fall mad about colours and nontrivial materials combinations. It’s been a long time that I’ve visited not only furniture fairs, but also art fairs such as Art Basel, BRAFA and TEFAF, for instance, and lately PAD London and Paris as well.
IRMA: Where and how do you see a carpet today in a modern interior?
ANGELINA ASKERI: Some time ago we used to buy carpets as a last thing in an interior project, but it has been a while since we’ve started using it as an element of architecture. A rug might well serve as something that unites the space. If the composition of the carpet itself is harmonious, if it is well-organized around the axes, if it is done in accordance with the principles of the golden ratio, it would fit in well in an interior and bring all the elements together. A carpet can define a style of the whole project. In some of my projects I leave the walls white and give the leading role to textiles and accessories. Some people tend to choose minimalistic furniture of neutral colours and after a while become bored, then a carpet can change the whole picture. Moreover, as you could see at our exposition in Milan, it might also look well on the wall, this is when it looks more of art.
IRMA: What would be your dream project? and why?
ANGELINA ASKERI: You see, every project is a joy for me, as it brings new acquaintances and a great deal of positive emotions in creating new spaces and in some way, a new life for people. I’d rather say I dream about meeting more interesting people that dream big, to realize their dreams in the best way and to see them happy.