Creativity is rooted deep in the life of Charlotte Culot.
Born in Belgium to a family of artists, her parents shared their creative worlds with her, intertwining it within their everyday life. Her path towards a creative career was more of a natural order, than of an obvious decision.
Culot is known for her expressive, abstractions in art, with work governed by connection as a founding principle. Passionate about materials and colours, she studied archeology and history of art, all which helped sharpen her artistic eye and inform her art in all its forms.
Most recently, her art took on an intricate new dimension when it was presented in woven form with her woven tapestry collection ‘Maison RHIZOMES.’
TIGMI are proud to exhibit this limited edition collection as our next instalment of our Tigmi Art Series.
Born into a family of artists, drawing was always part of your universe. What can you tell us about the creativity that was cultivated in your childhood?
In my childhood art was everywhere in my daily life - totally accessible. I could jump from my father Pierre Culot’s atelier of pottery and sculpture to the atelier of my mother, Miche Wynants, who was a painter and children's book illustrator. Diving into her palette of colours, she showed me the way of collages and paper-cuts.
What do you enjoy most about life as an artist?
Freedom! The ability to express oneself freely, and the blessing of being able to share it with a community of connoisseurs and art lovers.
Was there a moment that led you to explore woven artistry?
I’ve always appreciated the work of Ukrainian artist Sonia Delaunay. She is such an artist! Her tapestries, rugs and everything she does is so modern - what a colourist! Russian painter Serge Poliakoff is also one of my favourite artists, he has also produced rugs. American Lebanese artist Etel Adnan, poet, writer and painter, also has created some beautiful tapestries, they are my favourite.
"For us, it is important to follow our instincts, rather than trends."
You’ve quoted modernist designers Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier in your list of inspirations, what is it about their work that calls to you?
I made the decision to start working on my rug collection RHIZOMES© after I saw a beautiful hand-woven tapestry of Le Corbusier in the art and winery foundation ‘Chateau Lacoste’ nearby Aix-en Provence. This tapestry was hanging in the hallway of the main building, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. This piece had been woven by well-known weaving family ‘Pinton’ in their ateliers in Aubusson, Bourgogne, in 1953. I was totally taken by the beauty of this art piece. Charlotte Perriand is one of my favourite female icons. I love everything she created and her sources of inspirations - nature, mountains, Japan and the sentiment of less is more. Also if there is someone who ignited my mind, it is the American female artist Georgia O Keeffe. I’m mad about her aesthetic in all ways.
Your RHIZOMES collection can be best described as functional works of art, how does the process differ when you are painting for canvas compared to woven rugs?
What is different is that the act of painting is very solitary, usually I’m alone in my atelier, diving in my colours! To create rugs it required many pearls to make the necklace! There is first the drawing, the pattern (created from my paintings) after this, a larger puzzle starts. The addition of skilled artisans that we collaborate and achieve this project with. Also the raw materials - the beautiful Tibetan wool, the silk cocoons from India, the European hemp. High-quality materials from the most talented makers.
Slow and considered design is part of the Tigmi ethos, a value we mutually share. Can you talk to us about the considerations undertaken in the production of your collection?
The weavers are highly-skilled artisans from Tibet and based in Nepal. I’ve travelled to meet them and their families. Women and men can weave together on the same loom, there are no children involved into the work. The owner of the atelier is focused on helping the women to raise funds for the education of their children. I consider the weavers as my second family, I have a high respect for who they are and what they create. I consider what they do as art.
“The act of painting can be very solitary, usually I am alone in my atelier. Carpets require many pearls to create a necklace. Beginning with a painting, it becomes a pattern before it is handed over to our skilled artisans.”
It is known that the collection really took shape after a chance meeting with colourist Perrine Blaise, how did Perrine’s influence add to your work?
Perrine Blaise is known for creating collections with French interiors company Nobilis and other well-known companies in the industry. A textile and fibres specialist, I met her when she began working freelance and contacted me about my art, telling me my paintings would look great turned into rugs or tapestries. I had this project in mind but I didn’t know anything about the field. Perrine arrived at the perfect time, and helped me to build on this idea and to achieve the vision I had for the rugs. She had all the skills I didn’t have and she introduced me to this new world of weaving.
What can you tell us about the designs that have been curated for Tigmi?
The designs that will be presented at Tigmi, I could call them timeless. This white and beige collection has a very organic and graphic feel as well.
Tigmi is Berber for ‘My Home’, how do you feel your home of Belgium influences your work?
Born in Belgium in the countryside my childhood was surrounded with pure beauty. Both of my parents are artists and they surely shaped my eyes to beauty. I’ve lived for 30 years in the South of France - Provence. It’s landscape is mountainy, raw, organic, vertical… I don’t know exactly if I'm influenced by this environment? Probably!
What’s next for you Charlotte?
Aha! With my new collaboratrice Hannah Vagedes, we are now ready to spread our collection of rugs under the name Maison Rhizomes. In the same spirit of the collection has been created: our ethos is, slow but deep. Beauty is the North of our compass. We consciously decided to only create 8 pieces of each design, to really save them as pieces of art. With this, the collection will slowly but surely grow and evolve. For us, it is important to follow our instincts, rather than trends.