It started with a trip to the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. A total of 985 pillars (Aayiram Kaal Mandapam) stand arranged in a way that from whatever angle one looks from, there appears to be an endless perspective illusion. And that forms the inspiration behind our print, Taram.
Inspired by the design team’s travel to South India, our new range - of which Taram is a recurring motif - showcases patterns and colors that reminisce of the interior temple and coastal towns of Madurai, Karur, Pollachi, Chettinad, and Kochi - vivid colorful facets in every location.
The ever-changing depth of viewpoint, over time and space, is deftly captured in the hypnotic geometric print. Distance is shown by thick and thin lines that move sinuously, giving an illusion of an altered standpoint whilst standing still. Thick and thin running sinuously through the print - an abstract illustration of the gopurams seen in perspective.
Taram serves an essential coordinate in our Southern Suns collection. Exquisite textile prints that come together with screen printed narrative designs, reverse toiles and high voltage are woven stripes and checks. Taram frames and grounds the collection with a structure reminiscent of the columns that support the very bones of India’s most magnificent and holy temples.
We’ve interpreted this design into a variety of colors and products - from a stunning mist grey upholstery print that perfectly frames a modern accent chair, to a high voltage pink perfect for an eye-catching cushion or rug, to a “white on white” (“khadi”) screenprint for ethereal sheers.
But why stop there? One of the most exciting things about working at Freedom Tree Design studio is the opportunity to play with different materials across product categories. Our Furniture and Space designer Vritika, loved the opportunity to doodle and evolve the geometric print to onto hard surfaces for this season’s signature inlay furniture.
Further abstracting the geometric print, we arrived at a tessellated monochrome pattern that becomes the hero of our Taram Inlay cabinet and table collection. We previewed this collection at RAW Collaborative in Ahmedabad, one of India’s leading craft design shows - to a tremendous and overwhelming response.
And not to spoil the surprise, but we’ll be re-interpreting the Taram design once more for its final Hoorah, on another material, much beloved by our design team and customers - ceramics! A wildly playful polychromatic inspiration, with flowing rivulets of color, softened edges, and all the casual elegance that our dining and entertaining ranges are best known for. It’s going to be a warm Christmas, and a colorful New Year!
Check out the entire Southern Suns collection below - we can’t wait to hear what your Taram Tale will be!