The Shawls


Click here for detail pictures of individual pieces:

Also available:

Handfelted stuffed animals. Each animal is hand-felted and crafted in one piece. Not intended for small children.

Due to relocation, ART beyond borders is currently closed. Please feel free to browse the pages for information. Alibay Bapanov now has his own Facebook page, so you can contact him directly in case you are inspired by his works!

Welcome to ART beyond borders‘ shawl gallery, featuring the inspirational garments of Saule Bapanova, handcrafted one-by-one in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Each shawl is a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.

For over 20 years, Saule and her husband Alibay Bapanov, leading artists in their home country, have worked together creating intricate hand-woven and hand-felted tapestries, masterfully blending centuries-old weaving skills and Central Asian cultural icons with modern artistic expression.

Always seeking new artistic challenges, Saule Bapanova started to experiment with translating her weaving, felting and color composition skills to garments. With the help of her daughter Aya, who studies fashion design at Almaty University, she developed the first concepts of using felted wool to craft shawls. Not satisfied with the feel of Kazakh or Kirghiz wool she and her husband use for the wall art, she searched for a finer material. It was pure Australian merino wool that finally gave her the quality she was looking for. Felting onto a base of hand-woven raw silk from Uzbekistan, in ever surprising and amazing color combinations, Saule transforms the lose wool fibers into a textile poem. The contrast between opaque and transparent, pattern and solid, ancient craft and progressive style make each shawl a precious, distinctive piece of wearable art.

Just as the Bapanovs’ tapestries build a bridge from cultural heritage to modern art, their garments bridge art to high fashion design.

The shawls measure approximately 72” x 24” (182  x 61 cm).

Material: Australian merino wool and silk fiber on Uzbek silk.

The color classifications are an orientation guide. Due to the nature of the artistic process, color variations occur.

Please click on the thumbnails below to bring up a full size photograph of each shawl color. For close-up detail aspects, please select from the list on the left hand pane of this page.