Baluch Flatweaves in Freiburg
The 12th annual Baluchi symposium was held at the Stadtteilzentrum Vauban in Freiburg, Germany, from 5 to 7 May 2017. Organised by local Freiburg area collectors Wolfgang Windau and Martin Kempf, the event went well, with about 40 full-time registered participants, as well as day visitors, including some from the Freunde des Orientteppichs Basel. The talks, focussing on the Baluchi flatweave tradition, were given by Windau, Swiss collector Jürg Affentranger, and Baluch group ‘convenor’ Dr Hans Ritter, and there was the customary lively show & tell session.
The talks were accompanied by an extraordinary loan exhibition of more than 60 pieces, about half of them large format covers, the other half sofrehs, from three local private collections that have been gathered together over several decades. The pieces were hung with great skill by Martin Kempf, a cabinet maker by profession who was mainly responsible for the wooden structures necessary for hanging big and heavy flatweaves, without being allowed to drill a single new hole in any of the walls of the exhibition space. Most of the pieces were being made accessible to the public for the first time. It is fair to say that never before, not even during the high times of Michael Craycraft and Anne Halley’s Adraskand Gallery in California, was there an occasion to see so many different kinds of high-quality ‘Baluch’ flatweaves in one place: very probably there will be no other such opportunity in the foreseeable future.