Whilst at home during Lockdown Deirdre not only finished the designs for her 2021 rug collection but also found time to create an artwork for her home.
Here Deirdre describes, in her own words, the process of creating this painting, inspired by one of her carpets and shares her photographs of the painting as it developed.
‘There is a shallow alcove in the stone wall of our orangery which has been crying out for a mural for some time. When lockdown happened, and I knew I had a stretch of uninterrupted time, I decided that I could use this time for painting one on a pre-prepared board in my studio.
One of my earlier carpet designs called WINDSWEPT (pictured above) depicted leaves being swept from one end to the other. I decided that falling leaves as if outside in a breeze would be simple and would require no background setting except sky. I could aim at painting just a couple of leaves a day and hopefully finish it before the lockdown ended.
It is especially appropriate too as the leaves I used in both the carpet and painting all come from my garden so the panel would be perfect for its new home.
The panel was really tall so I had steps to reach to top and climb up and down all the time to reach my materials – good for fitness! I painted the whole background as a graded sky from a deep cobalt blue fading to a whiter sky at the bottom.
I had kept all the sketches from my original research and collected many more leaves too. It wasn’t too difficult painting them against the sky as they really seem to float but I also painted a step at the bottom to tie with a real step in the orangery, and these leaves each had to have a shadow to anchor them to the ground which took quite a bit longer.
They also had to look a bit dry as if aged, and as if they were lying down instead of floating which added a bit more of a challenge. It will be finished soon I hope, and after varnishing with matt varnish, installed in its home amongst a variety of tropical plants.’
We’ve focused on creativity and staying #INspired during lockdown. Deirdre has also been busy, using this time at home to work on next year’s rug collection.
Initially started at the London Gallery and continuing from her studio at home, Deirdre always begins work on new collections in February/March, nearly one year ahead of launch, at January’s Maison et Objet Paris. In this sense lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time. So without giving too much away here is a sneak peak of what is to come.
Having to be just as resourceful during these difficult times, Deirdre decided to find inspiration away from the natural world, focussing on the ‘inside’ rather than the ‘outside’ and using an everyday material, that is to hand.
Deirdre is exploring this simple idea in depth, to see how much variation can be made from it whilst still being recognisable for what it is, with particular emphasis on form, texture, light and shade.
Having briefly explored this in the past, Deirdre Dyson has found another opportunity to rediscover ways in which to manipulate the material into interesting designs and forms for development.
A deviation from past collections, 2021 will focus on the ‘beauty of simplicity’ in a world that has now become rather more complicated.
All will be revealed next year but in the meantime these inspired new designs are soon to be woven by our skilled Nepalese craftspeople observing social distancing and we’re excited to unveil them at Maison in January next year.
Deirdre Dyson has always looked at the natural world for inspiration. How far can we actually go beyond the surface of nature for new ideas? As far as a cell?
But before we might even attempt to do that, we could start by rediscovering and understanding our relationship with our oldest, tiniest enemies.
With Covid-19 on the forefront of everyone’s minds and lips, it certainly has encouraged us all to think and live microscopically, as our working and private environments becoming more concentrated and restricted; life and freedom itself has had its boundaries substantially reduced.
The battle between viruses and cells goes back over 4 billion years of evolution. Cousins at heart, whilst enemies at play, the game of conquest continues. Not too far from science fiction, opportunistic viruses attack healthy cells with the sole aim to replicate and take control of the host.
For centuries the complexity of life and the universe has captivated the human imagination and study and created a science around the subject in order to understand it better and to create positive interventions in order to survive within it.
Looking at the bigger picture, the universe, our solar system, planetary forms and the patterns of galaxies far and beyond all replicate down to within microns of a single cell. It’s an amazing mirroring that follows through existence and in every living thing, whether animal or plant.
The human body is made up of 120 trillion cells all coexisting to create a unique life force-a living, breathing, thinking human.
Our immune system has developed over millions of years in the form of protective proteins cells. These white blood cells are the guardians of our bodies’ immune system all working in unison by instruction from our unique DNA, found at the core of each and every cell; within the Nucleus.
Every time our bodies come under attack from a virus, our defence system is kicked into gear by our cells, each one connected to the other and sending warning signals to pull up the appropriate antibody. Our personal record and library of virus attack is stored in the bone marrow and our bodies can recognise a virus through this library, knowing exactly which antibody to use in order to attack the virus.
Viruses are around us all the time, in the air, on every surface. They have co-evolved alongside cells and are made up of the remnant parts of our own cells, hence they are equipped to attack us in the most efficient and deceitful way.
Unfortunately, we do not have antibodies for every single virus, as we are only ever exposed to a fraction of viruses in existence. Hence, we rely on science and medical intervention when a new virus, particularly a Zoonotic virus transfers from animal to human.
The irony of it all is that this battle continues for one reason only; in order to shape us for our own survival as we continue to evolve and exist within this vast and complex mix of everything, that is both good, bad, near, far and within.
Can you spot the odd one out? One of these images is an actual Deirdre Dyson carpet design and isn’t a virus structure at all, perfectly illustrating how replication is in everything around us.
One lucky entry will be selected at random from all correct answers received and will be sent a “Walking on Art’” book by Deirdre Dyson (rrp £38), published by Thames and Hudson in order to keep you #INspired during lockdown.
All entries must be received by the 28th May, 2020 and the winner will be announced along with the correct answer on the 1st June, 2020.
Given the unprecedented CV-19 situation, for our staff and clients safety and wellbeing the gallery will close from Thursday 19th March until further notice.
Despite our gallery space closing temporarily, the Deirdre Dyson website is a great resource to browse Deirdre’s rug designs and our handy quote calculator gives you an immediate retail price.
We’ll be working from home so the best way to contact us is via email if you require quotes, shipping quotes, samples or anything else and we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can.
We are working hard to ensure we continue to provide normal service levels to all clients awaiting deliveries and we endeavour to continue to meet expected delivery times. We will of course be in touch if this changes in any way.
Stay safe and well everyone and we look forward to getting back to normal when this extraordinary time passes.