Reverence for trees and the mythology that surrounds them are common to most cultures. Ksenia Stanishevski creative lead of Norwegian rug studio Volver was inspired by Norse legend Yggdrasil that relates the story of the ‘tree of the world’ whose branches reach the heavens and whose roots reach three sisters in the underworld who water its roots to weave a thread of fate for humanity. Stanishevski invited Yorgo Lykouria, creative director of Rainlight Studio, London, to collaborate on his first foray into rug design and introduce London street graffiti to the overarching design concept.
The Yggdrasil collection represents Volver’s inaugural entry into the UK market. Lykouria listened to Norwegian jazz to create a mood as he drew his concepts. Global lockdown meant he and Stanishevski collaborated remotely to realise the four designs hand-tufted from New Zealand wool and bamboo viscose with names borrowed from Norse mythology: Yggdrasil, Urd, Verdande and Skuld. ‘It was a challenge’, says Lykouria, ‘to interpret [London-style] graffiti to a Nordic feel.’ The result is intricate and organic designs with identifiable features like Norse knots merged with runic-like ‘graffiti’. Rich, moody wool field colours are countered by shining viscose designs. Together with multiple pile heights these elements create rugs that might have been inspired by illuminations in an ancient Norse manuscript.