“We Make Carpets” is a trio of artists working out of the Netherlands who make “contemporary temporary carpets” on a large scale. The artists — Bob Waardenburg, Marcia Nolte and Stijn van der Vleuten— have been working together since about 2009, creating gigantic carpets out of items that include everything from clothespins, to candy bars, to bricks, to fireworks.
It’s telling that the first thing in their biography is a warning to not walk on the carpets. From a distance, it’s difficult to tell that their works aren’t whole carpets, but are rather formed of thousands of composite parts. Wiesje Kuijpers, their journalist friend who penned their bio, describes the collective’s strategy thusly:
“The trio made their first carpet in 2009. They were collaborating in the ‘Instant Nature’ exhibition during that year’s Dutch Design Week. In the forest they collected pine cones and needles. These became Forest Carpet. The shape appealed to them and they developed their collaboration making six more carpets. ‘There never was a preconceived plan, like “from now on the three of us will make carpets”. It just happened. At the same time we had the feeling it might lead somewhere.’
“The carpets come about in the same way: naturally. There is no design. The material, location and size are set but other than that they work intuitively. Anyone can begin. In the centre. Follow long days on their knees or in other uncomfortable positions. Often till deep at night. ‘It’s a bit like meditating. We work in unity, always with the three of us, hardly taking any breaks.’ “
Below are two of CFile’s favorites, a carpet made of brick and another of plastic bottles. The locations for each are wonderful, one in a desert setting, the other in what looks like a forgotten housing project in the Netherlands. However, they do present a viewing problem, the best vantage point is high above the carpet itself, where objects weave seamlessly into a whole. Maybe their future carpets should come with a tower.
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