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Artists Create Wild Carpets To Benefit Endangered Tigers

February 1, 2019 | by Mitchell Owens for ArchitecturalDigest.com

Artists pay their dues to nature in many ways. World Wildlife Fund’s Tomorrow’s Tigers Initiative offers them a new way to do just that.  Featuring textiles by Kiki Smith, Maya Lin, Anish Kapoor and more. 

“Tyger, tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night.” So go the first lines of William Blake’s immortal 1794 poem about the powerful felines long hunted for their pelts. Today, however, though laws protect and preserve this endangered species, only about 3,900 Panthera tigris roam the wild. That is dramatic drop in a population that, at the beginning of the 20th century, reportedly topped more than 100,000. World Wildlife Fund’s Tomorrow’s Tigers initiative aims to double the existing number population number by 2022.

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Rug by Rose Wylie
Photo: Courtesy Rose Wylie, David Zwirner, and Choi & Lager

To that end, WWF has partnered with Artwise in commissioning artists from around the world to reinterpret famous knotted-wool Tibetan tiger rugs and sell them to raise funds that will support tiger-conservation efforts in 13 countries. The result is a limited edition range of intriguing abstractions. Their materials include wool, mohair, and silk by ten top talents. Among those talents are Sir Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin, Bernard Frize, Kiki Smith, Francesco Clemente, and Raqib Shaw. WWF offers the rugs in editions of ten, plus a single artist’s proof.

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Rug by Bernard Frize
Photo: Courtesy the Artist and Simon Lee Gallery

Hand-knotted in India under the direction of Christopher Farr, see the exquisite carpets exhibited at Sotheby’s in London. Showing runs from January 29 through February 4. Prices start at £10,000.

Read more about WWF and it’s Tomorrow’s Tiger’s Initiative here.

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