Baku, October 10, AZERTAC
In honour of Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary, the British Council in partnership with the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts and the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum organised the Azerbaijan Shakespeare Carpet competition. The competition was for the design of a carpet in honour of and inspired by Shakespeare.
The Azerbaijan Shakespeare Carpet competition brought together Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage in carpet design and the place of Shakespeare in world literature. The project was launched in May and more than 60 designs have been submitted by children, professional designers and the general public between May and July 2016. Carpet designs showed scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, motifs from his works and reflected Azerbaijani tradition.
The competition is the only one of its kind in the world. On the occasion of the project completion, Elizabeth White, Director British Council Azerbaijan, stated, ‘Azerbaijan has a remarkable tradition of carpet-making. The oldest dated carpet, and one of the largest, most historically important and most beautiful carpets in the world, is the Ardabil carpet from southern Azerbaijan. It was made some 15 years before Shakespeare was born; and it now displayed in the V&A Museum in London. What better way, then, to mark Shakespeare’s anniversary in Azerbaijan than to create a new carpet? We have been very pleased with the quality and variety and creativity of all the entries to the competition – and I think Shakespeare himself would have been proud to see these carpets’.
The jury for the Shakespeare Carpet Competition – comprised of the British Ambassador, the Director of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, the Rector of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts, and Elizabeth White – shortlisted the best designs from three categories. 15 of the most creative designs were posted on the official Facebook page of the British Council Azerbaijan and the most liked design wins a special audience prize. During the awarding ceremony held at the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum on 14 October, the winners from each category received prizes.
The three winning designs will be woven into carpets, and the overall winner of the competition wins the prize of a visit to London to see the V&A Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.