Knotted Rya Rug
Jean Cocteau & Mediterranean Industries
Established in the early '60s, the British/American company, 'Mediterranean Industries' set up a weaving studio workshop in Malta focussing on creating rya rugs designed by important European artists of the time. This is one of three pieces designed by Jean Cocteau.
This design of rya rug was included in an exhibition in 1963 at Malta House, London, titled 'The School of Malta', and had many important contributors, including Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), Finnish textile artist Leena-Kaisa Halme (1940-present), and Miron Grindea (1909-1995). Part of a pair, 'Ornaments' (1963-67) is the feminine to another of Cocteau's designs for Mediterranean Industries, 'Face' (1963-67). The design of 'Ornaments', features an abstracted feminine face, fragmented by bold panels of colour and pattern emerging from a black ground. These designs were inspired by close friend of Cocteau, the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso's (1881-1973) Primativo surrealist practice. Importantly, this design by Cocteau was one of his last works, passing away from a heart attack on 11th of October, 1963.
Our example has been handmade by a single Maltese weaver, Salvina Mizzi. Their name is documented on a panel on the verso, evidencing the studio's dedication to feminine craft and providing agency and credit to a craftsperson - something often denied.
Additionally, on the same panel, present is the edition mark of '5/50'. It is however understood that this edition never reached completion, so a total of <50 editions exist.
The panel to the right, displays its inclusion in a 1964 exhibition at Grabowski gallery (London), in collaboration with Unika-Væv.
An article published 19th August 1964 in The Times, titled 'Abstract Tapestries', comments on this exact design by Cocteau as 'the most successful' of the entire project.
Supplied with two brass hexagonal rods to hang from hooks.
Specifications:Width (including rods): 125cm