Although I would not say that these rugs were inspired by the work of Sonia Delaunay, after a series of drawings I did last year that were circular, someone directed me to look at her work. Of course I knew of her work before, she did both costume and fashion design, and when I was studying costume I stumbled across her renderings of geometrically influenced clothing many times. She was never as famous as her husband Robert Delaunay, but like Josef and Anni Albers, they were both artists of some repute.
Her work is geometric, but full of movement. In a book that I have called Cubism and Fashion, one of her circular drawings, a little like the one above is titled “Las Danseuses” (The Dancers), and you can see the circles as the spinning motion of dancers.
I suspect that this drawing, called “Electric Prisms” is about the intersection of people moving, though I’ve read no theory about it, so my guess may be incomplete. I think that because of a video of her from the Centre Pompidou in which she talks about wanting to contribute to the new generation of painters in the way that they learned from the previous generation. She names Cezanne, specifically.
But towards the end, she explains where her interest lies now in the context of the “We were [working] with color and with rhythm, because all of life has rhythm. [I try] to see it, to feel it, but now, I’m disengaged from the theoretical aspects our research, and I express myself […] like poetry”*
In my own work, I play with color, line, shading, and form to create motion, to evoke emotions, as she says, seeing it and feeling it and making poetry visual vocabulary. These rugs, though they are practical objects are about more than just pretty things for your floor. They are inspired by a feeling, a desire to connect both to the older generation, as my grandmother taught me many hand-crafts, and to give something to the future by using sustainable practices as an artist when they are available to me.
*The translation/transcription is by me. That’s why some things are in brackets: to make the translation understood more readily, I changed words that were either inaudible [working], or sound clunky in the informal English context of blogging “Il s’agit de le voir, le sentir” is literally “It acts upon,” but often treated as “The work is about” where I decided on “I try,” because the others felt too clunky. Towards the end (1:09-1:18 or so), maybe my vocabulary fails me, or maybe it was just difficult to understand until she gets to the end about “like poetry.” Filling in or corrections welcomed.