David Chalmers Alesworth

Jameel Prize 4 exhibition in Istanbul organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in partnership with Art Jameel, and in collaboration with the Pera Museum is between 8 June 2016 and 14 August 2016. Over 280 nominations for the Jameel Prize 4 were received from countries as far ranging as Afghanistan, Mali, Puerto Rico and Thailand. A panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Martin Roth, selected the shortlist. Works on show range from delicate paper collages to an animated video installation with marionettes and from ceramics, calligraphy and sculpture to artist’s books. One of the eleven shortlisted artists and designers, David Chalmers Alesworth talks about his works and his craftsmanship!

For the past ten years Alesworth’s art has reflected his parallel career as a garden designer in Pakistan, and his research on garden history.

He creates his ‘garden carpets’ by re-purposing worn Iranian and Pakistani carpets of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Alesworth overlays the original designs, which show abstracted, metaphorical gardens, with maps of important European gardens. Islamic concepts contributed to garden design in Europe. Since the 1800s, European ideas about gardens have been imported into the Islamic world. Alesworth reflects on this exchange.

In Hyde Park Kashan 1862, part of Hyde Park in London is superimposed on a carpet attributed to Kashan in Iran. The embroidered design is from Stanford’s Library Map of London and Environs, published in 1862.

The carpet used for Garden Palimpsest is ascribed to Kerman in Iran and is overlaid with part of the gardens of the royal palace at Versailles, near Paris. The source is a celebrated map of the town published by the Abbé Jean de la Grive in 1746.

Alesworth’s series Gardening the Archive combines layers of historical texts with photographs of living plants from his garden in Lahore.

Alesworth was born in London. He lives and works in Bristol, England, after more than two decades as a resident of Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan.

The Jameel Prize 4 exhibition in Istanbul is organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in partnership with Art Jameel, and in collaboration with the Pera Museum. Please click here for more info about the exhibition!

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