Taking inspiration from the fabled Tibetan tiger rug and the splendour of tigers in the wild, each artist has approached the project with their own vision of what a tiger rug could be, as well as an individual response to the plight of tigers in the wild. Created by rug-specialists, Christopher Farr and their team of master craftsmen, each rug is unique - just like the exquisite original artist designs. Created by hand in the hills of Northern India, with specialist hand dying and the finest wools and silks, these spectacular rugs push the boundaries of the art-form to meet the vision of each participating artist.
These stunning contemporary rugs will be shown in conjunction with a selection of rare woven antique Tiger Rugs, comprising 9 of the 164 still known to exist. These iconic rugs were created in Tibet in the 19th century as an act of veneration and convey some of the awe and wonder we experience on encountering the splendour of the wild tiger. Traditionally the Tiger Rugs were made as gifts for monks, known as lamas, in their monasteries; the Tiger skin motif was thought to protect the person during meditation. Like their new counterparts, the rugs range from the broadly abstract to the more clearly descriptive – all paying homage to the sublime beauty of the tiger.
At the beginning of the 20th century, experts suggest there may have been 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, the global population has shrunk by over 95 per cent, with approximately 3,900 tigers remaining in the wild. This is the shocking legacy of threats including rampant poaching and habitat loss which, if not tackled, could mean tigers would head towards extinction. WWF has been at the forefront of TX2 – driving ambitious and innovative conservation efforts that aim to turn back the decline and double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022: the next Chinese ‘Year of the Tiger’.
The rugs are each made in a limited edition of 10 and will retail at prices starting from around £10,000 to over £25,000. Profits will go towards supporting tiger conservation in the 13 tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.