Eclectic Images at Shirdak

Photographs of India by Thomas Cole

Saturday August 3rd until September 28th 2013

Shirdak is happy to present Eclectic Images by Thomas Cole. It’s a unique series of photographs taken in India.

Eclectic Images by Thomas Cole
During August and September 2013 at Shirdak Amsterdam

Photography has been something in which I’ve always had an interest. Now, after many years, I have chosen to pursue my passion for this art form. With a renewal of my travels overseas, and the acquisition of a professional SLR camera, I want to share some of the best images that have appeared before my eyes and was fortunate enough to have captured (Thomas Cole).

photo exhibition by Thomas Cole
photo exhibition at Shirdak

photograph on the right; Quiet Surprise

Taken in South India, in Karnataka State. When I spotted this girl walking through a park, I knew I wanted to capture her image, but did not quite know how to do so. I found myself walking on a parallel path to hers but about one step ahead, turned on my camera and got it ready, then suddenly dropped to one knee and aimed it at her. She spotted me out of the corner of her eye, whipped around to look at me, and this is the image I shot. Both of us were equally surprised – me with the result and her by me.

The tribal textile and rug dealers are a rare specimen. Most of them are intuitive and intellectual at the same time. Selecting, searching for the one item never found, they are more observers than people people. They ask themselves questions: what is it, where is it from, is it old, what does it mean, is it worth something? These observers with a good eye for details are interested in the story behind what they see. Most of them are travelers. From there it’s a small step to photography or writing.

Thomas Cole is a private antiques textiles and rugs dealer for the last 20 years. I met him in his private gallery in San Rafael (California). Although I am not an antique rug dealer, I am crazy about textiles and the collection was beautiful. I was having a great time looking at all items and listening to the stories.

Cole specializes in tribal weavings and textiles mostly from Asia and Central Asia. He has lived much of his life in Asia, including Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, and Thailand. He wrote two books on antique Tibetan rugs, Dream Weavers and Patterns of Life, as well as numerous articles for Hali, the London-based magazine on antique oriental rugs and textiles.

During this exhibition we show some beautiful traditional textiles from India.


Tratteggi at Shirdak June 16th – August 18th 2012

felt wall hangings of Claudio Varone and Anneke Copier
Felt for Architecture

Also this year we have the pleasure to present the newest work of Felt for Architecture called Tratteggi. The research of Claudio Varone in collaboration with Anneke Copier continues to explore the ancient felt techniques with a personal and contemporary interpretation.

The collection Tratteggi gets its inspiration from the modern art and the nomadic craft. The concept of graphic lines of colors which comes back in all textiles shows a strong monumental, abstract, three-dimensional character.

Claudio Varone started his project Felt for Architecture in 2003. He creates a collection of carpets and three-dimensional wall hangings in felted wool, to “dress” spaces, walls, floors, to evoke, to protect and to tell a story.Colors and shapes originate mainly from the contemplation of the Mediterranean landscapes, a story of the everlasting memory and passion of the artist.All pieces are unique, made of wool, sometimes combined with cotton, silk and other natural fibers, using traditional techniques.The intention of the artist through this project is to introduce the art of felt within spaces, with all its tactile visual and acoustic features, and with the overwhelming power, magic and sacredness of the South.

Anneke Copier has been exploring her passion for felt for more than 27 years. In January 2000 she opened her own studio.She has developed her own innovative expression of the ancient Central Asian technique of felt making. She designs unique clothing which fits like  a second skin.Different kinds of wool in combination with other natural materials such as silk and flax give her creations a unique and special warmth.

Since the beginning of 2006 she works at Claudio Varone’s project Felt for Architecture.

Claudio Varone and Anneke Copier
New collection 'Tratteggi'

Never a dull moment at Shirdak in 2011

mayer-peace -collection
Exhibition 2011 Christine Mayer and the tribal textiles day May 19th 2011

Looking back on an exciting Shirdak year full of success and surprises.

In 2011 we started with the exhibition of the Christine Mayer Peace collection. With a beautiful article in the magazine Selvedge we were happy to have this new brand in our shop. Read more Never a dull moment at Shirdak in 2011