Allistair Covell’s first major solo exhibition Canvas To Carpet opens at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City

Written by Digswell Arts

On February 10, 2019

Canvas To Carpet is the first major solo exhibition of Digswell Arts fellow Allistair Covell. Opening at Letchworth’s Broadway Gallery on 8th February 2019, the exhibition presents a series of hand-knotted carpets as the centrepiece to a display that surveys the artist’s creative practice over the last five years. The carpets, handcrafted in Afghanistan by Turquoise Mountain and Nepal by Rug Maker, are woven interpretations of Allistair’s vibrant and rhythmic abstract paintings, themselves inspired by the artist’s synaesthesic responses to music and sound.

Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon, a condition best described as a ‘union of the senses’ where one sensory experience prompts another. For Allistair, synaesthesia grants him the ability to see colour upon hearing musical notes. Music is an ever-changing audiovisual landscape, with sounds appearing as different shapes, tones and textures. Allistair mixes his synaesthetic experiences with traditional art subjects such as abstract depictions of people, places, events or memories.

Commenting on the exhibition, the Broadway Gallery says “we are very excited to be able to host Allistair’s first major solo exhibition and our visitors to the gallery will have the opportunity to experience the artist’s creative journey from canvas to carpet, learning about the techniques the distant weavers use to interpret and faithfully translate Allistair’s energetic brushwork into unique, hand-woven compositions.

In 2014, Allistair won the inaugural Best Young Designer Award at the 9th Carpet Design Awards at Domotex Hannover. This was Allistair’s first experience of creating a composition solely for a carpet and, driven by the fascination of the artistic heritage and traditional techniques involved in making carpets, he began to translate his paintings into woven artworks.

Allistair is currently a fellow of the Digswell Arts Trust, and is an elected member of Design-Nation, the premium portfolio for Craft, Design and Product in the UK.

The Broadway Gallery is a charitable service of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, a self-funding charitable organisation that invests profits from its property portfolio to maintain and enhance the world’s first Garden City for the long-term benefit of local communities. The Gallery, which is housed in a covered shopping arcade dating from 1922, presents exhibitions spanning the visual arts, craft and design, displaying work by internationally acclaimed practitioners as well as local and emerging talent.

Since opening in 2016, Broadway Gallery has shown retrospectives of the work of artists Richard Smith and Gordon House, alongside exhibitions including Kate Terry, Michael Brennand-Wood and Rebecca Louise Law, and recently an exhibition in collaboration with the Crafts Council and a Hayward touring show of screenprints by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

Allistair Covell: Canvas To Carpet runs from the 8th February to 5th May 2019 at the Broadway Gallery, 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3EW

For more information on the Canvas To Carpet exhibition please visit

For more information on Allistair and his work please visit

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