Invasion of softness
December 2021 – January 2022
by Doris Barbier
Photos by Nina Slavcheva
With her colorful and poetic rug art, Sara Badr Schmidt is successful in living rooms as well as in international galleries.
This cosmopolitan artist grew up in Lebanon and Sweden and currently lives in France. This contrasting program is the common thread in all her creations.
“In both of my home countries, rugs are an important part of interior design, even though they are made of different materials because of the climate – wool in Sweden, silk in Lebanon.” Rugs of all shapes and colors have already marked her childhood: Sara Badr Schmidt designs rugs like you would never see. With a lot of intuition and inspiration from chance encounters – a puddle in the rain, a religious scene from the Quattrocento, cottony cloud formations and, again and again, the sea in all its shades of color. She also finds her motifs in everyday life in Paris, on her bicycle on the way to her studio in the legendary Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, on a walk with her dog Pixelle or on trips to the Swedish landscapes of her childhood. Her rugs – precious pieces for nomads – are one-of-a-kind handmade pieces made of wool, silk and cashmere and are designed by her like a haute couture dress. “That’s why I have to give myself time, I like to immerse myself in the place I’m designing the rug fo. I do it intuitively. And if my clients give me carte blanche, it’s even better.”
Her imagination then knows no bounds: dazzling mosaics of silk and cashmere for a city apartment with a terrace, shock therapy in color against the hushed elegance and simplicity of Paris, or a tennis match at Roland Garros, the French internationals, are then found on her rug creations.
And each of them is at the same time an ode to the multicultural world she grew up in. This is why she likes to experiment with innovative materials such as bamboo and banana, nettle fibers or linen. Today, her textile works are exhibited not only in Paris at the Grand Palais, but also at the Agial Gallery in Beirut, the Morone Gallery in Milan and abroad at the FD Shim Gallery in New York.
An opportunity for the artist, whose textile creations, made in Nepal and France, aim not only to build bridges between different worlds, religions and philosophies, but also to break down prejudices and borders.
NB: High heels, boots and other shoes are considered superfluous in her world. It goes without saying that people want to discover her creations barefoot.