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تاريخ درج: 22/11/98


A vanishing artform



98/11/22 - سایت اطلاع رسانی فرش ایران - کارپتور
    Source: winnipegfreepress
    By: Frances Koncan
    Posted: 01/3/2020
    
    For Amy Blanchard, rugs are more than just something to be walked on: they are historic works of art.
    Blanchard`s passion for rugs was born in India, where she lived for six years with her husband, James, and their two daughters.
    

    MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    Rubia Darya Gallery offers cosy seating, hot tea and beautiful textiles, most of which range from 40 to 180 years old.
    
    She co-owns, along with her family, Rubia Darya, a gallery in the Exchange District that displays and sells authentic hand-woven rugs from central and western Asia.
    "My father-in-law was really the initiator," Blanchard says.
    "He had been living in Pakistan working as a surgeon and he liked rugs. My husband and I got one for our wedding, which got us interested in the beauty and art of rug-making."
    "Then my brother-in-law, who is our business partner, visited us in India and suggested we start a tea-and-carpets shop. And there was an Afghan fellow — his family had fled to Pakistan in the `80s during the Afghan war — who had a rug shop and had been wondering if there was a market in Winnipeg."
    "We thought maybe there is."
    That`s how Rubia Darya Gallery was born. Tucked away on a quiet street in the Exchange District, the four-year-old gallery doesn`t get much foot traffic, but Blanchard goes to great lengths to ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere, complete with cosy seating, hot tea and beautiful textiles, most of which range from 40 to 180 years old.
    
    

    Amy Blanchard, owner of Rubia Darya
    
    The textiles showcase the cultural skill and artwork of women from tribal weaving groups in central and west Asia.
    They are sourced through the close friendships her and her family developed during their time abroad.
    "The majority of our rugs come from one Afghan family who have been in the business of selling old rugs for four generations," Blanchard says.
    Weaving was a traditional skill in many tribal groups in central and west Asia. While the men sheared sheep and dyed the wool, the women would weave it into intricate patterns to create rugs and other items, like bags.
    "They didn`t have boxes, so the women would weave bags to load goods into," Blanchard says. "The bags would then get put on a camel or a donkey and be transported to their next destination."
    Weavers were highly valued within their family and community, and the elaborate emblems and imagery on the rugs represent the culturally specific values that are unique to each tribe.
    The rugs were woven on wooden looms, without any preset pattern, which means each rug is a completely one-of-a-kind artwork, created through cultural techniques that are slowly disappearing.
    "They`re vanishing things in the world," Blanchard says.
    Vanishing, but not entirely gone.
    "A family we know went to a region in Afghanistan that was very destitute. They were poor but were wonderful weavers. The family asked, if they brought wool and wood for the looms, if the women would begin their weaving again."
    Luckily, the women did, ensuring the survival of an ancient and valued cultural skill. Many of these new pieces are on display at the gallery.
    "They are examples of what would have been lost if those women hadn`t begun weaving again," she says.
    If you`re in the market for a unique rug — whether new or going back to the 19th century — Rubia Darya might just be the place to find it.
    "We try to have a good range of pieces so they can be accessible," says Blanchard, who notes that the rugs are priced based on rarity and age rather than size.
    She can even offer suggestions that align with your price range or what amount of foot traffic a certain rug could withstand.
    Every rug has a tag that notes the tribe it is from, the area it hails from, its approximate age, and each comes with plenty of interesting stories that Blanchard is happy to tell with a contagious passion for the objects she fell in love with more than a dozen years ago.
    "We love traditional rugs," she says. "They are art and history all at the same time."
    Rubia Darya Gallery will be open from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 3 for First Fridays, with hot tea provided by another family business, Cornelia Bean, run by her sister and brother-in-law. 




 
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