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In 1969 Etienne and two childhood friends participate in a contest organized by the Belgian Touring Club and the “Régie Automobile Renault”.
The three students plan to travel to Turkey, especially to Anatolia, off the beaten track.
Winners of the contest, they go behind the wheel of a Renault 5.
The journey is a revelation. Etienne is particularly interested by the ancient Anatolian nomads’ textiles.
This passion will never leave him, and the travels over there will multiply. In 1976 he decides to make a living out of it, and with his wife they will share their passion through expositions in foreign countries and since 1985 through international trade shows.
Their selection allows them to offer original ancient « kelims » for which they felt like « love at first sight ».
OLD ANATOLIAN KELIM
The nomads from Asia Minor used to live in mountains covered with cedar forests, through the warm and dusty plateaus or in the splendid and shimmering plains full of wild and colourful flowers, orange blossoms and white cotton.
The yürük and kurdish nomads, today settled, abandoned their ancestral and secular weaving techniques. The weaved kelim carptes were aimed at decorating their fabric dwellings, hung all around the tents and also used as bags and cradles.
The wools of goats and sheeps, hand worked, the composition and the structure of the vegetal colours, sometimes clashing, sometimes very fine, but in the end always in harmony with a gorgeous and harsh landscape, added to the graphic spontaneity, give a very peculiar charm, beauty and originality to these works.
Masterpieces from rough but generous and quiet people, the kelims are the sign of the independence of those artists.
They are also the last testimony of a whole nation, giving evidence of a very high artistic level attained in the past.
Etienne Roland sprl