Kneeling | Five years of We Make Carpets

MU | Strijp S

Kneeling | Five years of We Make Carpets 


Simple, everyday materials you can find in your kitchen drawer. For Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg – the three people behind We Make Carpets – anything from pasta to clothes pegs, candy bars and even plain A4’s can become part of the ingenious aesthetic patterns they build up from the inside outwards. On their knees.

No-nonsense, hard-working but conceptual and saucy at that, they build bridges between design and art. Their approach could be considered as a form of contemporary archaeology because no matter how small and insignificant an object might be, once it has been spotted by We Make Carpets’ mass-reproducing eyes, almost anything can develop into an appealing carpet. They know their historical carpet motives and the weaving tradition of Brabant but that is not where they find their inspiration. Not the Persian rug store but the forest, the Sligro or Zeeman count among their favourite hangouts.

And so, starting by the end of August, MU’s Strijp S interior will exude the atmosphere of an oriental prayer room where a large part of the floor between the concrete pillars will be covered with nearly all 50 carpets that were made in the past five years. Given the vulnerability of the materials it is clearly out of the question that the audience would walk or kneel on them. A breeze of air, the slightest touch could disturb the pattern. But clever corridors and a special pulpit will offer an excellent view on all the works. This way, all kneeling will be left to the makers – as one can tell by the working clothes that they have been wearing for the last five years when they create their work.

We Make Carpets specifically approached MU for their anniversary exhibition because of several collaborations in the past. In the summer of 2010, for example, MU challenged them to realise their first large carpet in the open air at the Strijp S area in Eindhoven, during the Flux/S festival. This became Brick Carpet, a landscape of concrete tiles and paving bricks, that rippled whimsically at close range but turned the industrial surroundings into a Land of Lilliput when seen from afar. For months, this carpet remained square in the grass along the Torenallee, as if it had been blown away from a table in a pub, the pub that had disappeared with the labourers from the development area. 

During the upcoming Dutch Design Week, on Friday 24 October, MU will celebrate We Make Carpets’ fifth anniversary with the launch of their first book, developed in collaboration with the graphic designers of HeyHeydeHaas. It will showcase the result of five years of hard work laying the most diverse temporary carpets and will also contain the newest creations. Besides the book launch, for this occasion we will also present the specially developed Gravel Carpet in a celebratory fashion. This semi-permanent carpet will give the grass field beside MU an new dimension for the next half year.

Exhibition August 29th – October 26th 2014
Opening August 29th from 8pm
Book presentation Friday October 24th from 5 pm

Photo A4 Carpet: Amy Kouwenhoven | Photo Candybar Carpet: Ine van den Elsen