Carpets, mats, rugs … these are just two-dimensional, flat, boring objects that (at most) have a bit of color, texture and maybe some sort of ornate printed pattern. Or at least that is the tradition – before Lise El Sayed comes in to cut, bend, twist and tear convention at whim, creating constructive chaos in her wake.

Not so sure you want shag-carpet slippers? Fair enough – the patterns look a lot more like cushion covers for classic chairs anyway. With each piece cut out in the right sequence, the once floor-bound area rug simple lifts up to a new level and becomes a jigsaw-puzzle version of its former self. Talk about a stylish matching set.

If it is possible, her works get even more surreal as they progress. Sure, there is something functional, simple and appealing about a modular set of rectangular mats (which can be assembled into a carpet of essentially any size). However, a rotating circle of carpet within a larger whole, oriental-patterned mounds and/or floral-motif crosswalks might be a bit beyond the realm of practicality. El Sayed has a fascinating way of turning mundane items into objects of fascination.
Here’s what she says about this series, entitled Tapis:
“Give the carpet back his nomadic roots.Once a necessity good, it is filled with a sacred past which inspired respect.In our homes it becomes sedentary, and a luxury item of our modern comfort . It stands as the symbol of a place, life space and passage ways.Offer it new destinations, from our rooms to the public space. Spread the carpet around and take it out of its perimeter.Used carpets upgrade to a unique item. This process gives the old item a new aesthetic, and the result still caries the DNA of the original carpet. Colors and shapes which vary with trends, eras and cultures and ensure each carpet to be unique.”