Legend has it that King Solomon’s magic carpet was made of green silk. The “Flying Carpet” to be exhibited March 3-17 at Casa de Arte Curime de Nicoya, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, is of a different nature – it’s a border-crossing art project that unites works by 165 women from 30 countries on five continents.
The project’s catalog states that Flying Carpet fosters understanding among cultures without competition and profit. Its objective is “to convey and exchange sensibilities, perceptions, thoughts and positions through art.”
Each woman has contributed a limited edition of 30 numbered copies of her work in 30-by-30-centimeter size.Applied techniques include engraving, collage, silkscreen, mixed media and digitally generated images. From abstract to representational, the women’s visions are depicted through images, poetry or scores, or by combining these elements.
Compiled in 30 portfolios, the exhibition is touring the globe to be shown primarily in the home countries of the artists. At the end of this long journey, the portfolios will be donated to a prestigious institution in the field of culture or art in each participant’s country of origin.
Initiated by Swiss artists Barbara Bandi, Susanne Glauser and Carla Neis in 2002, Flying Carpet has already been exhibited in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg,Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
Nicoya-based Swiss painter and sculptor Helga Denoth, who is organizing the presentation of Flying Carpet in Costa Rica, is impressed by the project.
“It is amazing to see such a wealth of totally different contributions from all over the world … to witness how the project became a flying tapestry created by women,” she says.
Denoth has put together something very special for the spectacular showing at Casa de Arte Curime de Nicoya; placed on 200 meters of orange-colored fabric that meanders through the gardens of the art center, the pieces seem to virtually fly between the trees.
“For the first time since its beginnings, Flying Carpet is on display in the open air,” the artist says.
Denoth first heard about the project through her membership with the Parisbased International Association of Art, and was later asked to organize a showing in Costa Rica.
“After many considerations, we decided to present this exhibition in the countryside and not in the metropolitan area – let alone in a museum,” Denoth says.
The exhibition is not for sale, but works from other internationally acclaimed artists – Denoth’s paintings and sculptures among them – will be on display at the Curime art center and can be purchased there.
The Swiss Embassy, headed by Swiss Ambassador to Costa Rica Gabriela Nützi Sulpizio, is sponsoring the exhibition.
“Flying Carpet is an exceptional and innovative art project,” Nützi says. “The idea to show art exclusively created by women is original and interesting. The women, who are unknown to each other, express their visions through their individual pieces, by weaving a symbolic carpet of fine arts.”
To receive the embassy’s support, Nützi says, the project must have a relation to Switzerland and be linked to a topic of current interest, allowing the initiation of a dialog among the cultures.More criteria include the quality of the artwork, and the political and innovative importance of the project.
Nützi hopes that “Flying Carpet is going to stimulate a dialog about art and gender in Costa Rica.We also like to enrich cultural life with a showing that was formerly on display in many countries with great success.”
To get to Casa de Arte Curime, head south on the road from the inland NicoyaPeninsula town of Nicoya to Sámara for about three kilometers. In the small town of Curime, turn left at the sign that reads “Casa de Arte.” The art center is 75 meters down this road. It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
For more on Flying Carpet, visit www.flyingcarpet.ch. For info about Denoth, see www.helgadenoth.com. The Swiss Embassy in San José can be contacted at 233-0052.