A lovely man called Cedric, an arts patron, invited me to the launch of the Alex Perry Designer Rugs collection last night. It was held in a groovy studio space in Alexandria and there were a number of celebrities, models and "all-round" beautiful people there - and then there was me!
The result of twelve month's collaboration between Alex and the staff and owners at Designer Rugs was on display, larger than life, around the walls. In all, there are eight beautiful rugs in the collection. I particularly loved the rug in the image at left - so luxurious looking, and I'm always a sucker for black and white.
But the highlight was talking to Alex about his inspiration for the designs. Alex had once been quick to hide his Greek heritage, wanting, like many first generation Australians, to fit in with his vegemite eating, sports loving school buddies with pronounceable names. This collection celebrates his coming to terms with, and embracing his heritage and incorporates a number of symbols taken from a recent trip to Greece. For example, two of the rugs feature (or are overlaid with) letters from the Greek alphabet, which came from a photo taken of multiple, old signs spied by Alex in a Greek shop window. The letters don't spell anything -they are there to celebrate their form and history. Another rug refers to the images and colours he relates to his cultural homeland - the small islands, the blue of the water, the yellow and orange of the land.
And the whole thing got me thinking of inspiration. Much can be taken from our history, our cultural symbols and our family relations. You can use your travel shots, your imagination, your pride, and your "life stage" as Alex has done.
And as the Designer Rugs owners, Eli and Yossi Tal know, you can come up with successful business ideas by tapping into the talent that surrounds you, and helping it to develop and expand into areas not previously embraced.
And I call that inspirational!