At Topfloor, we have just launched ‘The SCRIPT Collection,’ an exciting collaboration that has been two years in the making.
- Watch a video of Esti and Hassan talking in detail about the SCRIPT Collection
- View pictures of the launch event
The SCRIPT Collection is the creation of Topfloor’s Founder and Design Director, Esti Barnes, in collaboration with Hassan Massoudy – an Iraqi artist renowned for his contemporary take on calligraphy.
Esti said: “We were in Paris in August 2012, combining work with a little downtime, when I came across a marvelous book featuring some of the most striking examples of calligraphy I had ever seen. For years, I have admired this art form and having become a contemporary rug designer some years back, I had always had in mind a calligraphic rug collection…”
The collection consists of nine rugs and wall hangings, inspired by the work of Hassan Massoudy, an internationally-renowned artist in his own right. Designs are named PATIENCE, PEACE, DREAM, EARTH, OH FRIEND!, FIRE, WATER and ROOTS, and each one is tagged with its own short proverb or line of verse from a variety of cultures.
Often in stylised Arabic script, the proverbs and sayings – which include examples like “patience has a bitter taste at the start but, in the end, it is sweeter than honey”; “although you may not know where you’re going, remember where you came from” and “if life is like a big dream, why bother living in torment?” – can be included in the finished rug if desired, adding an extra element of style to an already beautiful piece.
The inspiration for the collection is taken from original artwork by Massoudy, who drew on influences from Japan, as well as from the Post-war modernist Lyrical Abstraction movement, which enthralled him as a student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1960’s Paris. Massoudy has evolved a distinctive form of art that transcends the strict formality of classical Arabic calligraphy, incorporating striking colour and spontaneous strokes using hand-crafted ‘qalams’ (the Arabic word for ‘pen’) that animate his work and go beyond the elegant and painstaking style usually associated with calligraphy.
In Massoudy, Esti saw the perfect creative partner, and together they have transformed the artwork into pieces that have their own unique beauty. Mostly knotted in stunning Chinese silk, with wool used for a variation on texture and for the more intricate carved detailing, each piece reflects Esti’s signature style, whilst staying true to Massoudy’s original vision.
Esti said: “As a designer and having grown up in Istanbul, I have always had a fascination for the classical forms of calligraphy. For this project, I tracked down the best weavers we could find who could handle the incredibly detailed work and I should say we are pleased with the result.”
Massoudy added: “When Esti first proposed her ideas, I was intrigued. I know a lot about art and calligraphy but apart from the carpets from my childhood growing up in Iraq, not much about rugs. However, as I start to understand the very different techniques involved in our two crafts, I can only say how impressed I am with the result.”
The SCRIPT collection prices start from £1,750 per square metre.