UAE: The two-year old rug studio, Ayka, launched by former HBA designer Karen Michelle Evans, has recently released a series of four new collections, called Shadows, Night and Day, Hidden and Circle of Life.
Evans explains: “Each collection has a completely different concept and usage of various yarns and textures. I really wanted to explore new techniques this year by creating different textures and structures in the rugs.”
Each range has a dramatic and theatrical touch to it. Shadows boasts immaculate outlines that are captured with a mysterious sense of boldness, while Night and Day reflects opposites that are created by the positive form, contrasted with its own negative. Hidden evokes camouflage set against nature and works to expose or hide different elements. And Circle of Life represents movement becoming alive with its sophisticated structure of loops concealed by its outer circle.
Each collection is further inspired by different parts of the world and the many adventures that Evans has journeyed on. According to the designer, Night and Day is “inspired by memories of a trip to Burma and the daily lives of a new culture, everyday functions of fishermen and village women.” The collection’s imagery is abstracted to be bold and modern.
Evans adds: “The new concept in this collection was to make a positive and negative design of the same element, which allowed me to explore how colours and light can change a design completing a whole new effect. The hues are earth tones with strong browns, reds, greys and ivory echoing the movement of the design.”
Moreso, the Circle of Life series is inspired by the Brazilian rain forest with each piece capturing the freedom of growth and movement. With 100% hand-spun silk, the long threads are “left to overhang in the outer circle, while concealing the tightly woven loops hidden in the inner circle.”
She explains: “The design is innovated with a new technique creating a three dimensional movement on a two dimensional surface. As life evolves, so does the structure of the rug, capturing hidden depths of loops and hanging threads which harmonises its many layers. The hues of moody blues, lilacs and ivory [mix].” The different pieces apply different combinations of hand-spun wool and silk and are either Persian knotted or Tibetan knotted.
Evans’ has recently taken home a Carpet Design Award 2015 at the Domotex fair in Germany, as well as Best Studio Artist for her range My Secret Garden.
“It was a fantastic feeling to be recognised two years in a row by the judges who are specialists in the rug industry from various countries,” says Evans.