Isaiah 38, 9-12

The Art of Carpet Weaving — a Metaphor on Life


"Like a weaver I have rolled up my life; he cuts me off from the loom;" began a quote in Isaiah 38, 9-12 ascribed to Hezekiah, King of Judah, regarding his illness some time following the long terrifying Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE.  In the Near East traditional carpets in particular have been a metaphor for life's most important events and states of conscious.

The art work by Stanley Bulbach draws upon this and other elements, including:

  • the importance of carpets and weaving to the history of human survival and development;
  • the magical ability of carpets to transform the ground beneath them and to influence what happens upon them;
  • the distinct and wonderful qualities of the special lustrous long wools, their natural undyed colors and shades, and the classic dye palette used; and
  • the distinctive grain of the flatwoven technique which imbues the weaving with aesthetic qualities that are almost musical in their abstractions, patterns, and rhythms.

All these aesthetic considerations are interwoven in the art work featured here.  And these are the "canvas" and "paints" used by New York City artist Stanley Bulbach for his contemporary art work.  No wonder that the ancients believed in "magic carpets."