Kiki van Eijk, when poetry takes shape in matter and begins to speak to us and inspire us

Design Dec 22.2020

kiki van eijk carpets

The Tilburg Textile Museum, one of the most important of its kind in Europe, has dedicated a retrospective to the works of Kiki van Eijk. From 26 September, the exhibition ‘Imagining: Dutch Design by Kiki van Eijk’ traces 20 years of the career of the famous designer from the Netherlands.

A journey into the creative and colourful world of Kiki van Eijk

Design objects, sketches, furniture, carpets and tapestries: there is all this and much more in the exhibition that the Textiel Museum in Tilburg has dedicated to the great artist Kiki van Eijk.

The retrospective allows us to get to know Kiki’s artistic career and genius more closely, appreciating its various facets. The works are organised in an original thematic order, so as to better highlight the elements that have influenced and guided the young designer’s creative activity over the course of twenty years.

The artist’s approach is characterised by a tension between tradition and contemporaneity. Kiki mixes traditional themes and techniques with original insights and details that allow her to create something truly unique. In particular, one of the leitmotifs of the production of the designer celebrated in the Tilburg museum’s retrospective is her ability to exalt the beauty contained in the simplest things. It is as if Shopenhauerian Maya’s veil suddenly fell and we were finally free to look at the Truth, in all its essential – and therefore dazzling – beauty.

The great guardian of this kind of beauty and the great protagonist of van Eijk’s works is nature. The flowers, landscapes of the Netherlands and views of the Dutch countryside have inspired several of the artist’s works. One series of tapestries, for example, shows the succession of the seasons and tries to capture the changes in light that mark the passage from one time of year to the next.

Flowers, on the other hand, have inspired the creation of carpets of absolute splendour, much appreciated by both critics and the public.

Kiki van Eijk’s carpets for Nodus

The carpets Kiki van Eijk has designed for Nodus are a perfect synthesis of the style of this extraordinary poet of shapes and colours. The simple lines, the elements of nature and the search for a pure and diaphanous beauty, which gives serenity and joy to those who observe the different creations, capture the eye.

The artist’s words best summarise the idea behind the products created for Nodus: “Beauty is everywhere around us. I believe that nature gives us beauty in its purest sense. It reminds us what is really important in life. Once again, Kiki takes us by the hand and leads us to discover, with new eyes, a world full of meaning and truth.

The flower-inspired designs are perhaps the most emblematic of Kiki van Eijk’s style. The carpet, like a painter’s blank canvas, is enriched, knot by knot, with colour and nuances. The result? Warm, soft carpets that represent the delicate, refined beauty of orchid or hydrangea petals, or bouquets of small, colourful flowers, predominantly red, pink and purple with green and yellow accents.

Shapes and colours are the direct and natural emanation of the designer’s creativity. If the carpets dedicated to the world of flowers – Orchis, Hydrangea and the Savage Flowers: Blossom collection – are made by reflecting the shape and colours of the petals, the iconic Carnival carpet, inspired by the Carnival festival, has a round shape and bright colours that recall the dynamism and joy that accompany that event.

Kiki van Eijk’s creations are always the expression of a highly personal and poetic style. A style that has led the Dutch designer to be considered an internationally appreciated artist for her originality. Kiki’s personal touch is also evident on a technical level: all the carpets designed for Nodus are made from natural materials, mainly wool and viscose, and are hand-knotted with Persian knots.

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