Posted on: September 10, 2019
Inspiration Everywhere – Current
Many of Orley Shabahang’s original designs are modern interpretations of vernacular symbols. This week we explore the ancient roots behind Current, a stunning carpet from our Art Deco Collection.
One of the earliest Orley Shabahang creations, Current was conceived by lead designer Bahram Shabahang. Born and raised in Isfahan to a family that was generations deep in the creation and distribution of Persian carpets, Shabahang often takes his initial inspiration from traditional motifs. In this case, he plays with the symbology of the peacock.
Historically, the peacock was seen as a royal bird. It was a sign of wealth and good fortune. This majestic bird is commonly found in traditional Persian carpet design. For example, two symmetrical peacocks flank either side of the entrance to the Garden of Eden that is depicted in the antique Tree of Life carpet that is pictured below. Created in Tehran in 1900, this Persian carpet is a great example of the peacock’s representation of good fortune as it is surrounded by lush flora and fauna in the biblical manifesto of heaven on earth.
Shabahang was able to modernize this literal pictorial portrayal by playing with scale and color, giving the viewer an abstract impressionist understanding of this regal bird. This is often his process when bridging the gap in history between tradition and modernity. He is able to take the vernacular and reshape it into a truly modern piece of art. By taking a microscope to the tip of a peacock feather and then repeating the form in various colors and sizes, the essence of the feather remains but its literal depiction is lost. Rather, the viewer becomes more consumed by the beauty of the movement and use of color in the overall carpet.