In January 2019, Sotheby’s will host a display of artworks specially commissioned as part of the TX2 project - a global commitment to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022. Tomorrow’s Tigers, a major new fundraising project from the WWF, has commissioned limited edition rugs by eleven internationally renowned contemporary artists.
The rugs, which will be on display at Sotheby’s in London from 11–17 January 2019, are inspired by the fabled Tibetan tiger rug and the splendour of tigers in the wild. They have been designed by artists Francesco Clemente, Bernard Frize, Ellen Gallagher, Gary Hume, Reena Saini Kallat, Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin, Harland Miller, Raqib Shaw, Kiki Smith and Rose Wylie.
Each design has been interpreted by rug specialists Christopher Farr and their team of master craftsmen using a range of traditional techniques. Like the original versions, each of the unique rugs have been made by hand in the hills of Northern India, using bespoke weaving techniques and specialist hand dying. The project has been devised and curated by Artwise.
They will be displayed alongside a collection of 11 rare, woven, antique tiger rugs of which there are just 164 known to still be in existence. They were created in Tibet in the 19th century and were made as gifts for monks. The tiger skin motif was thought to protect a person during meditation.
Each rug has been made in a limited edition of ten and will retail from £10,000 with profits going directly to support tiger conservation in the 13 tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. WWF funded reserves in Northern India have already seen some of the first ever recorded increases in tiger numbers this century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, experts suggested there may have been 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, the global population has shrunk by over 95 per cent, with approximately 3,900 tigers remaining in the wild - the shocking legacy of threats including rampant poaching and habitat loss, leading one of the world's most beautiful animals to the edge of extinction. WWF has been at the forefront of TX2 which has a fundraising goal of £1 million and is driving ambitious and innovative conservation plans that aim to turn back the decline and double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022, the next Chinese year of the tiger.
Follow the project here.
Main image: © Sunny Shah/WWF-India