Textile artist Belkis Balpinar has an unbeatable knowledge of Turkish weaving traditions but the kilims she produces are seen more as pieces of art work rather than craft. As founder and director of the Carpet and Kilim Museum in Istanbul, former curator of carpets at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and former founding director of the Vakiflar Carpet and Kilim Museum in Istanbul, it was Balpinar who pioneered a new art form in the second half of the eighties – the contemporary kilim. An exhibition of 24 of her unique wall-hanging artworks is on at La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art in Bahrain until 28 February 2011. Her artworks have won international acclaim and are found in the private collections of individuals like Miuccia Prada and textile collector Ignazio Vok.

Orbits kilim by Belkis Balpinar

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