The work of An Gillis & Nabil Aniss is the result of two different artistic minds. Gillis & Aniss were invited by For The Now to explore how their different histories and backgrounds can create innovative design and a new language. The collaboration resulted in the rebirth of a multifunctional object: Al Khat. The object is based on the lost history of the Haïk, a multifunctional woven garment of the Berber tribes living in the anti-Atlas in Morocco. «Al Khat» combines a low sitting object (Berber tradition) and an artistic work that resists overconsumption. Al Khat is made from Belgian wool, a sustainable material that currently largely goes into the incinerator. The graphic work is woven on a Jacquard loom, referring to Flemish tapestry history. To realize this project, we collaborated with several partners including B&T Textilia, a leading Belgian weaving mill and Céline Lambrechts, wool expert and textile designer. In the coming months, Gillis & Aniss will investigate how they can easily make Belgian wool available to designers again.
Nabil Aniss was born in Meknes, Morocco, in 1990 and has been living and working in Brussels for many years. He is a multidisciplinary artist and university guest lecturer. Nabil Aniss’ work is based on asymmetrical power relations and determinism in society. An Gillis designs furniture objects (collectible design) and installations for the public domain that are a cross-over between art and functionality. She always starts from an investigation into local history and translates this immaterial heritage into material objects.