‘I am an artist-ornamentalist,’ said Pierre Marie (@pierremariepm on Instagram) when I interviewed him prior to publishing my article on his spectacular tapestry ‘Ras El Hanout.’ Defined by the adroit Pierre Marie as ‘Someone that has the talent and the knowledge to decorate any surface with a story, a pattern, a frieze,’ he further adds that ‘…some media are more hungry for drawing than others; and textile is definitely one of them.’
Little did I know then in early 2019 how ornamentation would be the elixir necessary to calm the ennui brought about by a preponderance of mediocrity in rug and carpet design. Ornamentation, it seems, is what has been lacking and it is with wide eyes and and eager spirit that I now gaze toward the future of carpet design. I believe preëminent and insightful talents such as Pierre Marie are key to this future.
Modern as is required by the times in which we live, and informed by a rich global history of handwork and ornamentation, work such as that of Pierre Marie invokes figurative representations of reality, transforming the natural and built world into one simultaneously newfound, yet familiar. This is no grand revelation; the masters of past eras of glorious and exalted carpetry – and indeed artistry of many forms – new this well as evidenced by their acclaimed extant works.
And so it was that in November 2019 I joined Pierre Marie in Kathmandu, Nepal as he embarked on his carpet making journey. By joining forces with esteemed carpet makers, a marriage of art and craft if you will, Pierre Marie is melding past and present, much the same as was done during the creation of ‘Ras El Hanout,’ and likewise as has been done throughout the history of beautiful objects. I’m choosing to follow along for I believe in the necessity of singular ornamentation to rescue us from the banality that has become the vast majority of carpet design in the early 21st century.