Artist Hand-Carves an Ornate Patterned “Rug” Into a Wooden Floor

Hand Carved Rug into Utility Oak Floor by Selva Aparicio

“Childhood Memories,” 3m x 4.6m (Total Installation 657 sq. ft.)

Spanish artist Selva Aparicio creates thought-provoking installations that bring different issues—environmental, political, and social—to light. Her MFA thesis installation, entitled Childhood Memories, is no different. Through this visually stunning piece, the artist exposes her own childhood trauma, combining personal memories with a decorative object for the home. While carpets are usually used to cover the floor, Aparicio immortalizes her experiences by hand carving a tapestry directly into wooden flooring—laid bare for anyone to see.

From afar, the carpet resembles a real tapestry. It is only when the viewer looks closer that they see the innumerable details Aparicio included in the piece to emulate a three-dimensional object. Tassels are strewn about in different directions, the corner is flipped, and the design resembles a traditional Persian carpet design. The artist carefully etched away at the oak utility flooring to create a white and brown contrast in the floral pattern.

“I presented this installation as my thesis during my MFA at Yale University,” Aparicio explains to My Modern Met. “Rugs are typically adorned with sacred gardens and oases, and can be moved around the home. This rug stayed put, quietly participating in years of familial abuse. This installation is about covering and exposing, trauma, and bearing witness.

“My memories are permanently etched, so the soft fabric is represented in hand-carved scars on discarded wood flooring,” Aparicio continues. “I strive to find beauty in the peril and bear witness to the progression of ephemerality-permanence-loss.”

The artist has installations on display at the International Museum of Surgical Science until January 17, 2021 and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago until May 2, 2021. Scroll down to see more images of Childhood Memories, and visit Aparicio's website to learn more about her work.

Artist Selva Aparicio brilliantly transformed a wooden floor for her MFA thesis installation titled Childhood Memories.

Hand Carved Rug into Utility Oak Floor by Selva Aparicio

“Childhood Memories,” 3m x 4.6m (Total Installation 657sq. ft.)

She hand-carved an intricately detailed carpet into discarded oak flooring, “weaving” together a personal tale that is permanently engrained in her memory.

Hand Carved Rug into Utility Oak Floor by Selva Aparicio

“Childhood Memories,” 3m x 4.6m (Total Installation 657 sq. ft.)

Selva Aparicio: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Selva Aparicio.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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