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Centenary of the Bauhaus

Deirdre Dyson’s ANGULUS rug, originally designed for the V&A Museum‘s Modernism exhibition

2019 marks the centenary of the Bauhaus, one of the most significant movements in art and design of the 21st Century.

In 1919, Walter Gropius became the director of a new institution created from the merger of two art schools in Weimar.  This new school, the Staatliches Bauhaus, was to be known simply as the Bauhaus.  Even though Gropius was an architect and the term ‘Bauhaus’ literally translates as “construction house,” it did not solely concentrate on architecture, it was a school encompassing all elements of art and design.

Gropius aim was “to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist.” Combining influences from modernism, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and Constructivism, Gropius promoted the idea that design was to serve the community and exist in its purist form, epitomised in the Bauhaus principle ‘Form follows function’.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Bauhaus realised the concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk,” or complete work of art, meaning the visual arts, graphic design product and furniture design as well as architecture combined to create a cohesive environment comprising simple, elegant geometric shapes, solid colours and minimalist spaces.

Having moved over the course of its existence from Weimar to Dessau and finally Berlin, the Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933 for producing ‘degenerate art’.  Despite this suppression, the Bauhaus lived on and it’s ideologies spread as many of its staff and students fled Germany bringing the school’s idealistic concepts with them, influences that continue to have an impact on design today.

Despite being known as a minimalist discipline, The Bauhaus felt an understanding of colour was of paramount importance and colour theories taught as part of the school’s foundation course by artists Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers formed the basis of contemporary colour theory. This included expanding the colour wheel, developing ideas of colour contrast, exploring the psychological effects of colour and their spiritual and transcendental nature.

Other Bauhuas luminaries included Josef’s wife Anni Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemmer, Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Like any colourist, Deirdre Dyson’s designs inadvertently pay homage to the Bauhaus concepts and artists, with both the application of colour theory and form but some of Deirdre’s rug designs really do make a more obvious nod to the movement, none more so than ANGULUS with its stark geometry and solid colours.

Several of Deirdre’s designs or bespoke reworkings never make it to the loom, so for a bit of fun, we’ve trawled through the archive to find some other Deirdre Dyson designs which illustrate Bauhaus principles of form and colour, here’s what we’ve found.

An alternate working of Deirdre Dyson’s WINDOWS created for a scheme in New York

 

A carpet design by Deirdre Dyson based on rectangles and squares
A reworking of Deirdre Dyson’s ODEON design, entitled ENCOMPASS concept design for a project in New York

 

A simple geometric design created by Deirdre Dyson
Deirdre Dyson’s OVERLAY rug design reminiscent of Josef Alber’s ‘Homage to the Square’ (below)


BESPOKE FITTED AND FREE-STANDING CARPETS FOR A GEORGIAN TOWNHOUSE MAYFAIR, LONDON

A bespoke hand knotted version of UP AND OVER

Lady Deirdre Dyson was commissioned to create fourteen contemporary carpets – six hand knotted, free-standing rugs and eight gun tufted, fitted carpets together with a stair runner over four floors for this 18th Century listed Georgian townhouse.

The house, actually two adjoining properties, was restored and repurposed by Alexander Martin Architects (AMA) for use as private offices in Mayfair, London.

The brief required Deirdre to design a total of 350 square metres of highest quality wool and silk floor coverings for the entire property.

The incredible gun tufted 100% wool graded carpet created for the oak barley twist staircase.

Materials throughout the building were selected for their timeless quality, echoing those present in the original building. A palette of natural oak, stone and pale grey provides a backdrop for the bespoke Deirdre Dyson carpets used throughout.

The expanses of wool and silk used in the rug, carpet and runner designs sit perfectly with remaining original features and the stark modern interior application in the office spaces on the upper floors.

The central oak barley twist staircase is dramatically hugged top to bottom by a stair runner that creates a sense of movement with graded hues that flow from dark to light (pictured above)

A bespoke gun tufted, fitted version of  TWILIGHT in one of the top floor office spaces.

Through her use of bold geometric designs, Lady Dyson developed a scheme to bring contrast and complimentary accent colours which define and enhance the individual rooms. A total of fifty separate colours were used across the project with some carpets having up to sixteen colours alone.

A bespoke hand knotted version of SCATTER

The carpets give each room a separate identity and interest but Dyson has connected the spaces using a similar colour palette, often through the use of colour grading, adding personality with dramatic bursts of colour, be it a bold blue or vivid terracotta. All working in tandem with remaining original features and the architect’s contemporary reworking of the building.

A bespoke hand knotted version of SEAWASH

In some cases, Deirdre’s designs reference the building directly such as a version of her DAWN carpet design, its dramatic copper silk stripes echoing the copper cladding in the garden outside.

Deirdre Dyson’s bespoke hand knotted DAWN carpet in the Garden Room.

A bespoke hand knotted version of OPTIC

The scale of these carpets created challenges for both our weavers in Nepal (in some cases measuring up to 5m square)  and the skilled tufters here in the UK as well as specialist fitters but a close, collaborative team effort realised Deirdre Dyson’s vision to stunning effect.

The project featured in  an extensive editorial feature in Wallpaper* magazine, click here to read.


PLUMAGE RUG COLLECTION LAUNCH PARTY

Sam and Mark from Echlin chat to Deirdre Dyson, Pandora from World of Interiors in conversation with James Dyson

We love revealing Deirdre’s new rug designs at Maison & Objet every January but by contrast, Deirdre’s annual UK collection launch, held here in the intimacy of our Kings Road gallery, is by far the highlight of our year.

The evening gives Deirdre a chance to catch up with valued friends of the brand as well as clients old and new and introduce her carpets in person whilst guests can touch and feel the incredible quality of the finished designs, see the lustre of the silk and the true colours which are always best viewed ‘in the flesh’.

Lady Dyson in front of her limited edition carpet artwork UNBOUND

This year’s collection inspired by the hues and patterns of birds and their feathers, is a riot of colour and contrast and provoked much admiration and discussion.  As did Deirdre’s first carpet artwork, UNBOUND, created in a limited edition of three and intricately handwoven in 32 colours of wool and silk.

UNBOUND was recently included in The Luxury Cave launch event at the Design Museum and was so overwhelmingly well received that Deirdre is now working on another limited-edition wall piece, more details to be revealed soon.

Flowers by Clayton at Strudwick Flowers provided the perfect backdrop to the evening’s festivities.  Deirdre had requested natural arrangements with fluid forms reflecting the designs on display and Clayton fulfilled this brief perfectly, picking up the reds in both HARLEQUIN and UNBOUND on the first floor and the golden and buttery tones of GOLDEN PHEASANT and BURLESQUE on the ground floor.

Bespoke cocktails colour co-ordinated with Deirdre Dyson’s QUILLS rug

This year guests enjoyed lavender cocktails selected by Edison to compliment the purple found in Deirdre’s new QUILLS rug design, Champagne and Dyson wine together with delicious canapes by Aquashard such as mushroom arancini, steak tartare and mini fish and chips.  Guests were extremely well looked after by Aquashard’s John Wiltshire and his team.

Lily from Cereal Magazine with Deirdre Dyson PR Zara Brown of Zedcoms
Wallpaper* Online Editor Sujata Burman, Chanda Pandya of Rossana/The Luxury Cave, Sir James Dyson and Dave Harvey of Wallpaper*

The gallery, designed by Architect Timothy Hatton (pictured) comes in to its own at night and the wonderful atmosphere led to a very special evening celebrating another stellar rug collection by Deirdre.

Paresh Dudhaiya, Tricia Topping of Luxury Topping, Mary Wiggin and Rachel Bull of Co-Existence
Correna Mitchell, Sir James Dyson, Sir James Bucknall, Architect Timothy Hatton, Julia Carrick and Darren Miller of Rossana/The Luxury Cave

Michael Messenger, Diana Wilkinson, Model and Author Victoria Nixon and Deirdre Dyson
Sir James Dyson and Architect Timothy Hatton
Occa Designs CEO Kate Mooney (right) and Clare-Ann Coll
Julia Carrick and Brendon Moss
Nichole Detering and Nicholas Hanslip of Franklin of Project Management with Sir James Bucknall
Sir James and Lady Dyson
Stylists Louisa Grey and Marianne Cotterill
John Wiltshire and members of his Aquashard team
Stylist Marianne Cotterill
Al Martin of Alexander Martin Architects
Correna Mitchell of Timothy Hatton Architects

Designer Sue Timney
Tricia Topping of Luxury Topping

Deirdre Dyson at the Design Museum

Last month Deirdre joined a host of hand-picked luxury interiors, fine art, couture and automotive brands exhibiting at ‘Curation of the Finest’, a collection of rare and one-off contemporary collectables and objects, showcased by Luxury Cave at London’s Design Museum.

Deirdre Dyson in front of her UNBOUND limited edition carpet artwork.

Luxury Cave‘s aim is to ‘present a new viewpoint of luxury that focuses on objects that speak of craftsmanship, emotion and investment of time.’

Deirdre Dyson’s carpets fulfil this brief perfectly – the combination of Deirdre’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand knotting by artisan craftspeople and the bespoke process, cannot be rushed, assisted by but impervious to technological advances. This is slow design at its finest.

Deirdre was excited to create and unveil her first ever Carpet Artwork exclusively for the event.

The ultimate expression of her background as a Fine Artist and Carpet Designer – UNBOUND will be created in a limited edition of three (the first of which is available to purchase exclusively via the Luxury Cave website)

Deirdre took inspiration from ‘the rising steps to freedom and breaking away from the ties that bind us’ and the piece is a joyous juxtaposition of colours hand knotted in wool and silk.

Deirdre also exhibited her intricate PLUMES carpet from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection, bespoke versions of which will also be available exclusively through the Luxury Cave website for the next three months.

Deirdre Dyson’s PLUMES carpet on exhibit at the Design Museum, London

PLUMES is a masterly intricate carpet design of interlocking feather barbs on a deep navy background with striking turquoise tips, the fine detail of which posed a real challenge to our incredibly skilled Nepalese weavers.

Both pieces, as with all Deirdre Dyson carpet designs, are Goodweave certified.

The exhibition was co-curated by Sofia Barattieri and Darren Miller of Luxury Cave and art directed by celebrated Set Designer Simon Costin.

Luxury Cave’s Sofia Barattieri and Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou in front of Deirdre Dyson’s UNBOUND artwork and PLUMES carpet.

Other exhibitors and curated objects included Fine Jeweller Fabio Salini, fine art by Lucio Fontana and Alighiero Boetti, the intricately embroidered handbags of Parisian Designer Carole Tessier’s label ‘Preciously Paris‘, Auto Fabrica, Furniture by Studio Drift, Thomas Heatherwick and Pinto Paris, the Aston Martin Lagonda and Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou celebrated the 10th Anniversary of her brand as part of the event.

Luxury Cave’s Chanda Pandya and Darren Miller with Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou in front of Deirdre Dyson’s UNBOUND artwork and PLUMES carpet.

Deirdre’s artwork and carpet at the exhibition

Visit the Luxury Cave digital portal here.

 

 

 


Edison’s Picks from Maison & Objet Hall 8

We love to report back on favourite spots and trends from interiors exhibitions, especially Maison & Objet Paris.

We’ve been regular exhibitors at Maison every January for the past five years launching Deirdre’s new rug collections.

This year we’re showcasing neighbouring stands at our new location in Hall 8, the ‘Forever Signature’ Hall, which featured an array of high-end furniture, china and bedlinen brands.

Edison captured some of the things which caught his eye over the five days.

Practical and Beautiful. The superbly tactile, curves of hand-turned walnut in the sculptural VERTIGO coat hook by Nomon designed by Stefano Bigi 

Murano glass brought bang up to date with bold detail and vibrant colours on the Carlo Moretti stand.

Incredible matt black glass vases by Guaxs

The trippy perfection of the Emanuel Ungaro Home stand.

Created by the perfect combination of color, energy and shape, Souk mirrors reflect the influences of overwhelming and visually fascinating Souk markets in northern Africa with its vibrant fringes and earthy colors resembling typical macramé techniques, spotted on the Dooq stand.

Fun gin bottles on the Sieger by Furstenberg stand who employed a Mixologist to create delightful cocktails in their wonderful crystal!

Brand new colour variations and a different take on cut glass in these lamps by Vista Alegre

 


The PLUMAGE Collection at Maison 2019

 

 

Deirdre’s new rug collection has received a wonderful reception at Maison & Objet Paris, where eight of nine new designs on display in Hall 8, stand A32 were showcased on a custom made, towering stand painted with Argile paint colours selected personally by Deirdre to complement each of the new carpet designs.  Deirdre relishes the opportunity to be on the stand at Maison meet clients and discuss the designs and their inspiration.

Yet again Deirdre has pushed the boundaries of the art of hand knotting to create very distinctive designs using pops of colour (HARLEQUIN), intricate detail (PLUMES/FEATHER BOUND/QUILLS) or colour grading (GOLDEN PHEASANT, EAGLE) from the abstracted (MANDARIN) to the figurative (FLIGHT) creating a new collection that celebrates her instinctive eye for colour and cleverly plays with the shapes and forms of birds and their feathers to create unique designs.

Each design uses varying amounts of silk to mirror the shimmering nature of bird’s plumage and Deirdre’s chosen colour palette is shot with vibrant hues that give the organic forms a 3D quality.

Bordered rugs such as BURLESQUE and FEATHER BOUND are endlessly adaptable – for use under a dining table or bed whereas the bold Studio 54esque GOLDEN PHEASANT makes a statement all of its own as does the elegant scale of the exquisite EAGLE.

Last year’s HORIZONS Collection played with scale and Deirdre continues this trend with the largest carpet on display, EAGLE mirroring the wing span of its namesake, an impressive 3.4 metres wide.

As with all Deirdre’s designs these sample carpets are just the start, each design can be created in any colourway or size required and most designs can also be gun tufted in 100% wool should the client or space require it.


NEW COLLECTION LANDING AT MAISON!

We can’t wait to reveal the new rug designs Deirdre Dyson has created for her 2019 PLUMAGE collection.

With an intuitive eye for colour, Deirdre cleverly combines the bright shades (violet blues, cherry red, slate blue, black) and abstract markings of a pretty male sea duck for her HARLEQUIN design.

EAGLE  (pictured) is an impressive 3.4 metres wide, depicting the magnificent wing span of this majestic bird – the large scale allows Deirdre to include intricate feathery detail and create a spectacular three-dimensional effect through directional colour grading.

Other designs, such as the rich colour palette of GOLDEN PHEASANT, accurately reflects the beautiful tones of this quintessential British bird.

Deirdre’s practice as a fine artist allows her to expertly combine colours to create a beautiful composition that will enhance any surface and interior, as she skillfully captures the shimmer of the natural oils of a feather through the use of gorgeous silk against a luxurious wool background.

Deirdre says:

In this collection I have delved deep into the feathers of pheasants and abstracted designs of ducks.  I singled out some feathers and enfolded carpets with others.  Together they make a varied collection of colourful drama and soft luxury.  In creating them, our brilliant craftspeople have succeeded with the most difficult technical challenges I have ever set them.”

Be the first to see the new collection unveiled on 18 January 2019 at the prestigious Maison et Objet interiors exhibition in Paris, in Hall 8 ‘Forever Signature’, stand A32.

 

 

 

 


SEASON’S GREETINGS

The gallery will be closed from 6pm on Friday 21st December and re-opens at  10am on Wednesday 2nd January 2018.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2019!

Deirdre, Edison, Nichola, Chris, Sonia & Zara


The Price of Free – the work of Goodweave’s Kailash Satyarthi

We are proud partners of GoodWeave, a charity striving to end child labour in the rug industry but few of us really understand the extent of child exploitation in the supply chains of everyday items from food products, clothing, jewellery, homewares – the list is endless and as consumers we are unwittingly complicit.

Noble Peace Prize winner and founder of GoodWeave Kailash Satyarthi features in the feature-length documentary The Price of Free, highlighting the work undertaken be his team across the globe rescuing children from slavery.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize, US Documentary at Sundance 2018, this profoundly moving and eye-opening film is a must see, especially as the frenzy of Christmas spending is underway.  Please take the time to view.