Allistair Covell presents Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit in the Mall Galleries during HALI London, 27th – 30th June 2019

Written by Fenners

On June 18, 2019

Following his first major solo exhibition at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City, Digswell Arts fellow Allistair Covell has been invited by Turquoise Mountain to present Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit during the HALI Fair at the Mall Galleries from 27 – 30 June 2019.

Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit is a special presentation focusing on four of Covell’s hand- knotted carpets handmade in Afghanistan by artisans supported by the organisation Turquoise Mountain. The carpets, or ‘woven paintings’ as Covell describes them, are the woven interpretations of his vibrant and rhythmic abstract paintings, themselves inspired by Covell’s synaesthetic responses to music and sound. Canvas To Carpet: The Afghan Edit is a celebration of the technical artistry of the Afghan weavers, showcasing their skill of translating Covell’s painted splashes of colour and expressive brush strokes into woven knots, highlighting and affirming Afghanistan’s rich carpet making heritage.

In 2014 Covell won the inaugural Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover in Germany. The award was Covell’s first experience of creating a composition for a carpet and driven by a fascination of the artistic heritage and traditional techniques involved in making carpets, he slightly refocused his practice to include translating some of his artworks into woven textile pieces. In February 2019 Covell’s first major solo exhibition Canvas To Carpet opened at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City. The exhibition was a survey of his creative practice over a period of five years, presenting abstract paintings alongside a series of hand-knotted carpets, handcrafted in Afghanistan by Turquoise Mountain and Nepal by Rug-Maker.

The HALI Fair is the hub for HALI London and an important addition to the London Art Week calendar. HALI London is a week long festival devoted to the art and history of carpets and textiles, taking place in the British capital from 24 – 30 June 2019, in celebration of 40 years and 200 editions of HALI magazine. HALI magazine is the world’s leading publication on collectable carpets, rugs and textiles, widely recognised as an authoritative reference guide and quality art publication.

HALI London includes a programme of specialist lectures, events and visits to see historical carpets and textiles in museum archives and private collections, including the V&A. The HALI Fair is hosting twenty of the best international dealers and will offer a wide range of vintage and antique textile art, from important collectors’ pieces to more affordable decorative objects. It is the place to source Berber rugs from Morocco, suzani embroideries and ikat textiles from Central Asia, West African prestige cloths and Tunisian indigo shawls, as well as fine Persian and other oriental carpets, tribal rugs, kilims and unique handmade artefacts from all corners of the globe. The HALI Fair is open to the public and free to attend. For more information please visit

Turquoise Mountain was established in 2006 at the behest of HRH The Prince of Wales and now works in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East with the aim to preserve and regenerate historical areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts, creating jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride. Since 2006, Turquoise Mountain has restored 150 historic buildings, trained over 6,000 artisans, treated almost 120,000 patients, graduated hundreds of talented artisans and generated over $6m in international sales from customers including London’s Connaught Hotel. Turquoise Mountain’s artisan’s work has featured in major international exhibitions around the world, including the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C and Buckingham Palace in London.

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