The project has been created to raise awareness and funds in support of the TX2 goal, a global commitment to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022. All the artworks will be on show at Sotheby's London from January 11-17, 2019.
Taking inspiration from the fabled Tibetan tiger rug, as well as the splendor of tigers in the wild, each artist has created a unique art rug, interpreted by rug specialists Christopher Farr and their team of master craftsmen using a range of traditional techniques.
Detail of Tomorrow's Tigers limited edition rug by artist Rose Wylie, and produced by Christopher Farr.
Participating artists include: Francesco Clemente, Bernard Frize, Ellen Gallagher, Gary Hume, Reena Saini Kallat, Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin, Harland Miller, Raqib Shaw, Kiki Smith and Rose Wylie.
Tomorrow's Tigers has been devised and curated by Artwise, the curatorial team behind a host of critically acclaimed exhibitions, including the Pandamonium exhibition series for WWF.
CONTEMPORARY AND ANTIQUE TIGER RUGS
The contemporary rugs will be shown in conjunction with a selection of rare woven antique tiger rugs, comprising 11 of the 164 still known to exist. These iconic rugs were created in Tibet in the 19th century as an act of veneration and convey some of the awe and wonder we experience on encountering the splendor of the wild tiger.
Traditionally the Tiger Rugs were made as gifts for monks, known as lamas, in their monasteries; the Tiger skin motif was thought to protect the person during meditation. Like their new counterparts, the rugs range from the broadly abstract to the more clearly descriptive, all paying homage to the sublime beauty of the endangered tiger.
An antique Tibetan tiger rug which is part of the Sotheby's exhibition, Tomorrow's Tigers, an initiative of WWF.
At the beginning of the 20th century, experts suggest there may have been 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, the global population has shrunk by over 95 percent, with approximately 3,900 tigers remaining in the wild, the shocking legacy of threats including rampant poaching and habitat loss, leading one of the world's most beautiful animals to the edge of extinction. WWF has been at the forefront of TX2, driving ambitious and innovative conservation plans that aim to turn back the decline and double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022: The next Chinese year of the tiger.
The artist rugs have been created by hand in the hills of Northern India and just like the exquisite original artist designs, each rug is unique. Incorporating innovative and bespoke weaving techniques with specialist hand dying and the finest natural wools, these spectacular rugs push the boundaries of the art-form to meet the vision of each participating artist.
The rugs are each made in a limited edition of 10 and will retail at prices starting at £10,000. Profits will go directly to support tiger conservation in the 13 tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
WWF funded reserves in Northern India have already seen some of the first ever recorded increases in tiger numbers this century, providing a beacon of hope and proof that the aims of TX2 are within reach. WWF invites you to support Tomorrow's Tigers in their goal of generating £1 million from the sale of these stunning and highly collectable art rugs to sustain this vital conservation work.