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Take a closer look at his design philosophy and the mesmerizing tapestries that came to be!
‘Jugalbandi’ was conceived from an invitation from the Jaipur Rugs Foundation to create a series of tapestries in Rajasthan. In Hindi, Jugalbandi means “intertwined twins”, a word used to indicate a musical performance between two soloists who play simultaneously”, and is here used to describe the creative dialogue that took place with the foundation and with the local weavers.
Lorenzo was captivated by the random sculptures that village life unconsciously creates in rural India and started an unconventional collaboration from London. Abstract forms in photographs he collected are transformed into graphic fragments, and juxtaposed to create a collection of organic multilayered figures. There are areas weavers could intervene during handcrafting, not only with their technique but also their own vision and ideas. With a motley of transcultural materials, each tapestry in ‘Jugalbandi’ is an excursion in aesthetic, taking one through a journey in experience, as well as design philosophy.
Lorenzo Vitturi (b. 1980, Italy) is a photographer and sculptor based in London. Formerly a cinema set painter, Vitturi has brought this experience into his photographic practice, which revolves around sitespecific interventions at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance. In Vitturi’s process, photography in conceived as a space of transformation, where different disciplines merge together to represent increasingly complex urban realities. Vitturi’s latest solo exhibitions have taken place at top galleries in Amsterdam, London, Toronto, Luxembourg and in New York. He has also participated in many group exhibitions across the world and has a photo-book titled “Money Must Be Made”, in collaborations with Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma.
In this rug, the central element is the hump of the Gaumata, the sacred Indian cow, which I photographed when walking in the streets of Jaipur. In the left part, the texture resembles the wall of an old house of the village, with its aged and consumed walls, whereas during installation, I have added some Venetian beads on the central part.
The photographic element becomes here once again part of the final piece where on the lower right side the detail of a Gudadi, and its lined patches made of different recycled fabrics, carries a familiar and quotidian impression. During installation the high pile has been sculpted by removing the excess material however maintaining its elongation in order to investigate the sculptural aspect of the wool and bamboo textiles.
The interesting anatomies and volumes created by everyday objects installed randomly in the villages’ markets is the starting point of “Terra-cotta, Plastic Pots and Chai”. It references objects found in the New Delhi market, such as the pots used daily in Indian cities which are arranged by local vendors in harmonic sculptures, plastic items and other tools which I then transformed in a string of lines that form an articulated horizontal composition.
The intertwinement of the contours convey the idea of a trip, the crossing of different stories which were subverted and mixed when the carpet was installed vertically in the exhibition space, becoming a sort of monumental column, preserving the stories it narrates but abandoning its linear timeline.
The verticality allows the high pile, which I have remodeled on spot, to give body and a sculptural look to the composition. The back of this cylinder turning on itself, is exposed and shows the enrichment of plastics from Peruvian markets and bits of Murano fused glass.
For this rug I have been inspired by the shapes and colours of the flower market an Indian village.
Once I made my new encounter with the piece in Italy, I reassembled the composition giving it a sculptural form, adding elements from my hometown, Venice, such as Cotisso, the raw material of Murano glass, and yarn from Peru.
This tapestry is part of the Jugalbandi series which was conceived to enhance and bring the collaborative and reciprocal relationship to a further stage by creating a four-handed piece, altering the conventional interaction between author and craftsman.
In this piece, the layering of graphic elements is obtained from the images of common objects taken in the villages: plastic, tools, food, and everyday items are retraced by hand in order to relive the experience of discovery and consciousness of the local community, at a later time.
During the installation of the exhibition, once the carpet arrived in Italy, the dialogue continued once again as I added glass fragments made in Murano.
The silhouette of a weaver met in the village of Aspura gives structure to the whole design of “the piece” and is the motive from which the idea of monumentality arises. Other graphic elements draw inspiration from pots used to carry and store drinking water and the Gudadi, blankets sewn together in a patchwork.
The texture of the rug evokes the indented wall of the weaver's house, which was rendered with a bas-relief effect through the alternation between low and high pile. The addition of fused glass, with its rich and baroque shape, completed some areas of the low pile along with pieces of cotisso, a net found in Lagos, Nigeria, and Peruvian yarn. In this composition, every object finds it place and the materials, distant in their tradition and geography, are tangled together.
The composition was finished, during the installation phase, with the addition of a photograph of a terra-cotta pot found at the weaver’s house.
In the rug titled “Patio”, the main source of inspiration comes once again from the porch of a village house where I found a pile of Gudadi, which have morphed and are here proposed as an arrangement of abstract and coloured layers.
The arrangement is complemented with other figurative parts, designed by the weaver. The different lengths of the pile provide volume to the rug and allow a materic sight of the yarn’s raw beauty and its array of natural and vibrant colours.
The entire composition of this rug was built around the photograph a Palli found in the village of Aspura, Rajasthan, whose shape was drawn and transposed in the red area of the rug, whereas the long pile, central to the balance of the tapestry, represents the silhouette of a weaver’s sari.
In addition to these overlaps of elements found in India, during the finishing phase carried out in Italy, elements of Cotisso were sewn on the textile along with sheets of discarded Murano glass, which become integral parts of the composition. On the lower left the part one more shift in volume is produced by a relief created by a mixture of Peruvian wools wrapped in Lagos nets sewn with Murano beads.
During the installation phase, a detail of the Palli was added as a photographic print and completes the entire configuration.
For the design of “Turps and Walls” I was inspired by the shapes of Gudadi and Palli found in a weaver house in a Rajasthani village. Fragments from both objects have been redrawn and mixed with one another, trying to create an organic and harmonious composition by bringing together the parts designed by the weaver.
The blue textured part comes from the old wall of a building from the same village, while the textured orange areas were inspired by the ground of a patio covered with wheat.
I decided to give each part of the composition different lengths of pile and to mix different knotting techniques in order to explore the sculptural possibilities and potential of the rug. Once the rug arrived in Italy, I intervened and enriched the piece with Venetian beads.
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