Oriental Carpets

Milton Cater Oriental Carpets

specialising in old and antique rugs     Since 1974
Oriental Carpets
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Statement of concept / principle

  "rugs and textiles are predominantly the art of the feminine"

We listen, we look. We see the attentive consciousness shift outside ourselves. Enchantments of ontological porosity unfold. We feel what it actually is to be human, connected to the archaic heart at the bottom of us all. Effortlessly, joyfully, the whirlwind inside the kaleidoscope.

Throughout history, western art appreciation has consistently relegated rug artistry to within the boundaries of craft - ie. the domestic realm, the feminine, of lesser value. The rugs I am involved in exhibit a confident aesthetic and irrespective of their historical context, ethnological meaning, or rarity, are works of art.

" Oh you painters who ask for a technique of colour - study carpets and there you will find all knowledge " Paul Gaugin. In the canon of European art, the 20th century rates as the period of discovery of colour as pure non-representational form. So late compared with rugs!

As in aboriginal art, nomadic and peasant rugs premise on the spiritual - utilising "storytelling" symbols of totemic and magic significance.

My mission is to share and educate the community regarding these unique works of feminine sacred art.

Before this age of mass production and child slavery there existed a feminine apotropaic and shamanistic weaving culture. That great culture, generically called "the Nomadic Horsemen of Central Asia" exists no more, and with it's demise go thousands of years of fascinating feminine spiritual knowledge. We do have some clues - the connections with various Turkic and American Indian cultures, for instance - but what speaks to us directly is the rugs themselves, as written and built histories generally have a "western male imperialist academic" filter and consequently do not address what the architect Chris Alexander called "a foreshadowing of twenty-first century art".

We in the 21st century see the ends of this culture, with pockets having survived in some form in parts of Iran and Afghanistan. We cry out for more, having just arrived at the end of an era. Rug art connects with an archaic epoch when the Gods were female at a time when our own cultural tide washes those shores.

Look at our domestic housing. In the past our houses existed of a hallway with separate rooms of a specific function. This was the accepted western style - to separate and name. Even the sedentary peoples of Central Asia put the kitchen and the women's quarters in sections apart from the more important men's rooms. But look at modern open plan living with multi-functional spaces and rooms opening directly from the main area. This is a kin to traditional nomadic and peasant dwellings such as the yurt, where the kitchen is the hearth, where the feminine world is the centre, not devalued but elevated.


A Prayer

May each of you entertain this notion:

That because the earth is beautiful, it has been a mother to these craftspeople whose high precision skills formed this sacred art, these gifts of peace and joy, and that it will, given time, sweeten the sourest mind and produce a boundless compassion, shared by all.

And, may you bring these gifts of peace and understanding to those around you, knowing life is full of joy, and therefore helping those who are hateful, jealous and warlike, focus instead on the boundless wonders of the appreciation of beauty as an everyday reality.

For, only by contemplating beauty are we saved from that hurtful misery so ready in the philistine’s cold heart. Tamam Shod, the end.

Color I Color II Color III