Internationally-renowned makers of luxurious hand-knotted carpets, Janis Provisor and Brad Davis have commissioned three narrative films featuring Fort Street Studio’s carpets. Three up-and-coming New York City filmmakers were selected to each create an original short film. The only directive was to incorporate the Studio’s carpets in the work. The result is a three-film artistic campaign, “Fort Street Studio Presents…”
Exploring the medium of moving image was a natural extension for Provisor and Davis. Both accomplished artists (the paintings of Provisor are in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, The National Gallery in Washington DC and Ludwig Museum, Germany, while Davis’ art is in the collections of the Whitney, Metropolitan, and Museum of Modern Art,, among others), the couple was inspired to design a silk carpet for their New York loft 20 years ago while on an art-making trip in Hangzhou, China. This artistic endeavor – translating painting to product – was the genesis of Fort Street Studio.
With these film commissions, Provisor and Davis expand on their aptitude for boundary pushing and cross-pollination of design over multiple mediums. While no stranger to those in the fashion or jewelry worlds, narrative films of this nature are the first of their kind for the interior design industry. “As artists, we are inspired by fashion, travel, art, and our environments,” says Provisor. “We saw luxury brands like Cartier, Gucci, and Burberry telling evocative stories through film, and thought ‘why is no one doing this in the home space?’” In the pioneering spirit of Fort Street Studio, these films are some of the first from an interior furnishings company.
The three films are as different from one another as the three filmmakers – Alec Davis, Karishma Dev Dube, and Haley Anderson – by sole virtue of the creators’ visions. Each short film is unique in approach and story. Although they were given little narrative direction other than using the Studio’s painterly and textural carpets as an inspirational design element in their story, each tells a robust tale without using a single line of dialogue.
Alec Davis’ film tells a story of a woman who is transported back to a memory of a past relationship while picking up the pieces of a broken coffee mug. “It’s about the way that small moments, ones which probably felt insignificant at the time, can come flooding back and take on new, sometimes bittersweet, meaning,” the director says. The Border Slate rug design was a perfect fit with the elegantly moody atmosphere evoked.
The second film, by Karishma Dev Dube, is a narrative portrait of a relationship between two women and explores the way we differ and the ways we overlap. “I wanted to show a mother and daughter who, in spite of being made from the same cloth, remain disconnected,” says Dube. “They pulsate between conflict and extreme affection; oscillate between love and sharp antagonism. It’s an ode to dysfunctional families.” Dube illustrates this relationship by using two opposing colorways of the same Limited Edition rug – Glimmering Dawn and Glimmering Twilight.
“Lately I’ve been ruminating on the concept of genetic memory and the relationship between generations, especially different generations of women,” says Haley Anderson of her film. The narrative revolves around a girl and her grandmother. She says, “I wanted to use Fort Street Studio’s Casperia rug design in particular because it reminded me of a nebula, which for me embodies the idea of someone passing on but their memory and spirit are still present. Like interstellar dust clouds.”
Explore the films at fortstreetstudio.com/films