Pallavi Paul , Terra Firma, A loop pile heavy contract carpet, with anti-soiling treatment, constructed from 100% polyamide on a textile polypropylene backing, 13 x 16.4 feet, 2017
The carpet has been manufactured by EGE carpets, leading producer of designer carpets in Europe.
During a residency at Wysing Arts Centre, artist Pallavi Paul visited and accessed archival material from Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the British Second World War Codebreakers. This installation is inspired by the secrecy surrounding the work undertaken there.
Many of these histories, especially those of espionage, remain hidden. Many of the possible witnesses to these moments, under obligation never to reveal anything about the war effort, have either died or have inconsistent memories of events from so many years ago. Paul’s work speculates on the actions and triumphs that can be imagined occurring at Bletchley, which may now be lost to time. The carpet, with the central motif of the word ‘secret’ surrounded by changing permutations of words, is composed to look like code.
Terra Firma is co-commissioned by University of Cambridge Museums and Wysing Arts Centre. It was
supported using public funding by Arts Council England and with support from Diversity Art Forum and
the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation. With thanks to Bletchley Park.