Artist-designed rugs for tomorrow’s tigers

Designs by artists such as Anish Kapoor, Francesco Clemente, Ellen Gallagher and Kiki Smith pay homage to the world’s diminishing populations of wild tigers

Hand-knotted, handspun wool rug by Kiki Smith
Hand-knotted, handspun wool rug by Kiki Smith | Image: © Kiki Smith. Courtesy Timothy Taylor, London and New York

From January 29 to February 4, Sotheby’s London will host Tomorrow’s Tigers, a selling exhibition of specially commissioned rugs to support the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature. The designs by artists including Anish Kapoor, Ellen Gallagher, Francesco Clemente and Kiki Smith come in limited editions of 10 and pay homage to the world’s wild tigers whose population has shrunk by over 95 per cent since the beginning of the 20th century. They will be shown alongside 11 rare 19th-century Tibetan “tiger rugs” woven as gifts for monks because it was believed the animal-skin design would provide protection during meditation. Prices start at £10,000 and all profits from the sale will go to WWF, which aims to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.

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