As I am ready to go exploring some galleries in Berlin today, I still have in mind my visit a couple of winters ago at Galleri Dobag in Oslo. It is not an usual gallery, with beautiful frames on the walls inviting the art experts to buy or analyse the authenticity of the paintings or sculptures. I am a big fan of carpets and rugs, especially from the Middle East and I think I can spend hours admiring the design and the colours. Long ago, at a furniture tour in Strasbourg I stayed over 2 hours in discussion with experts from Caucasus about weaving and I admired impressive carpets changing the patterns when the light was changed. At the end of the discussion, they were a lit disappointed as probably expecting me to be a key investors in carpets.
Galleri Dobag does not present anything spectacular. It is part of the German-born Dobag project, aimed to promote traditional art made according to old dye recipes. Functional for decades already, the project aims not only to support the old weaving tradition, but also to empower women from certain regions of Turkey. The carpets presented at the Galleri in Oslo are mostly made in Turkey, but also in Morocco, from areas near the Atlas mountains. The ambiance is very pleasant, with videos presenting the making of the carpets on the walls. I visited the gallery during the week-end, and the owners were present and invited me to have a cup of tea and listen to the story of the project. The carpets are for sale and specific orders from Norway but also from abroad are handled regularly. However, if you don’t intend to buy – money might be a problem, but also a proper furniture to match with the little piece of traditional art – you are still welcomed to learn about the project and the birth places of the carpets. Somehow, you may think that once you buy a carpet you also support women from Turkey or Morocco to move forward with their lives and get more autonomy and self-awareness.
After visiting the Galleri, one can have a long walk in the area, with white big houses and generous gardens. It looked lovely in the winter and I don’t have any reason to think that it might be not so also during the short Nordic summer.