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The Mastery of Turkmenistan Carpet Artisan Annabibi Islamova

State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan Lecturer Jeren Baltaeva discusses the artistry and beauty of Master Carpet Artisan Annabibi Islamova.

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State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan Lecturer Jeren Baltaeva discusses the artistry and beauty of Master Carpet Artisan Annabibi Islamova.

Byline Jeren Baltaeva

The exhibition hall of the State Academy of Arts of Turkmenistan opens an exhibition of carpets and carpet products by Annabibi Islamova this month.

Traditional Turkmen carpet making is listed under UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Islamova’s work is considered part of Turkmenistan’s cultural canon, and this exhibition features 110 carpet works by Islamova.

The exhibition includes works such as chuvaly, ensi, gapylyk and sachak, traditional ornaments decorated with ancient images of horses, similar to the horses from the Pazyryk carpet motifs.

Throughout her career, Islamova continues the traditions of Turkmen carpet making, re-imagining tradition through household items such as asmalyk at khaly, various covers for dutar (a traditional musical instrument), sewing machines, and more.

Islamova’s works invites us to experience exquisite color combinations, a musicality of pattern and composition rhythms, and the perfection of technical execution, re-interpreted into everyday Turkman ornaments.

It is evident that Islamova lives and breathes carpets.

“I cannot imagine a single day without a carpet,” says Islamova.

Islamova also creates carpet bags and one notable design, “White City of Ashgabat”, is a modern depiction of white marble structures with the edging symbolizing residential complexes of the capital.

Islamova also portrays the animal world and the nature of her homeland in her carpets. Her works feature various gyols: gushly gyol, dyrnak gyol, ayna gyol, derveze gyol, as well as ornaments such as dagdan, zerbaf and perre gul.

Over the years, Islamova has passed on her techniques to selected understudies, including students Gulshirin Berdieva, Yazgeldi Khajiev, Mergen Berdiev, Bahar Pirgulyeva, who actively participate in art exhibitions and competitions.

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