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Beauty v’s the Beast – The war within (Prize Giveaway)

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.    

 

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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.

A single cell, with all its layers and core, resembles many planet structures including our own planet Earth. Credit: Biologyexams4u.com.

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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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. 

GIVEAWAY

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.

Please email your answer to sales@deirdredyson.com

Hint: The answer can be found on our website.

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.


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Deirdre’s Design Inspiration – Water

Deirdre Dyson at work in her studio at home.

 

Continuing our exploration of inspiration and what keeps us #INspired, Deirdre draws inspiration for her designs from myriad sources but one recurring area of fascination is water – be it BULRUSHES reflected in a lake or lapping water on the shore in SEAWASH.

We thought exploring some of these rug designs would be fascinating – the source of inspiration being fundamentally the same, the designs themselves could not be more different.

BULRUSHES

BULRUSHES
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs BULRUSHES

One of Deirdre’s more figurative designs and one that has captured people’s imagination and become a classic and was inspired by Deirdre’s painting of the same name.

This rug features the naturally abstracted forms of bulrushes, their bending shafts reflected and refracted in lake water.

Deirdre uses a graded wool/silk mix background to recreate the skyline and lake water which merge on the horizon to create this perfectly framed design.  The finished rug is so captivating one client choose to hang it on a wall of their home.

BULRUSHES won both the International Wool Carpet & Rug Awards (Design Sector) 2017 and the International Design & Architecture Awards (Flooring, Carpet & Rugs) 2017.

 

SEAWASH

SEAWASH indigo
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs SEAWASH INDIGO

The success of Deirdre’s SEAWASH rug design is all in the grade – which required Deirdre’s exceptional eye for colour to achieve this seamless ebb and flow effect.

Originally Deirdre designed the carpet in two versions, INDIGO (above) and BEIGE (below) which have become favourite designs amongst clients, we have created both large scale carpets and runners from this endlessly versatile design.

SEAWASH beige
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs SEAWASH BEIGE

SEAWASH comes alive hand knotted in lustrous 100% silk (as in the versions above), providing the perfect watery, iridescent finish but has also been recreated several times using varying colourways in hand knotted and gun tufted 100% wool versions.

 

NAUTICAL

NAUTICAL
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
NAUTICAL

In NAUTICAL Deirdre again treats her source inspiration completely differently – abstracting sea water into fluid but solid geometric shapes, creating a feeling of depth and movement by alternating the same colours in wool and silk.

Clients can of course change these colours from the original water based palate but fundamentally this ‘breaking down’ of the sea to its most basic elements is the key to this design.

 

LILYPOND

LILYPOND
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs LILYPOND

For LILYPOND Deirdre created a subtle, light to dark grade to give the impression of still pond water.

This circular grade, a challenge for our weavers, creates a sense of depth and bursts of colour are provided by the silk lilypads creating a 3D  effect.

 

SEASCAPE and SEA MIST

 

Both these designs are based on light (silk bars) reflected on sea water (a graded wool background)

SEASCAPE is an incredible 7m in width, reflecting the expansiveness of the sea and a chance for Deirdre to illustrate just how large hand knotted carpets can be.

SEASCAPE features shots of sunlight on the sea’s surface whilst SEA MIST uses stormier hues and was made on a more domestic scale but is no less effective.

SEASCAPE is currently available in it’s original 7 x 2.3m size and as a 1 x 2.9m runner in our sample sale.

ROMAN POND

ROMAN POND
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
ROMAN POND

Whilst not strictly inspired by water itself, the first of Deirdre’s mosaic designs was inspired by mosaic lined Roman ponds, the intricacy of ROMAN POND poses a challenge to our weavers as the thin lines of wool ‘grouting’ around the ingots of silk are incredibly complex to achieve (and individually carve out) but the finished effect is stunning.

 

RIVULETS
The everyday source inspiration for this rug only adds to its allure  – RIVULETS mimics the trail of rain drops on a window pane – the simplest of inspiration led Deirdre to this wonderfully subtle graded design.

Finally this year’s LOOKING GLASS Collection was inspired by glass and glass objects including a water filled flask in LOOKING THROUGH, discarded pieces of sea worn glass in FLOATING GLASS and abstracted light and forms through glass and water in LIGHT FRAGMENTS.  See the full collection here.

Looking for inspiration for your home? Explore all of Deirdre Dyson’s entirely bespoke rug designs in our Design Library and imagine how you could make it your own.  Contact us with any enquiries.

 


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Staying in and being ‘In’Spired

The lockdown is certainly something we are all getting used to and nothing is more important than abiding by the government guidelines to #stayhome and #staysafe. It’s the only way we stand any hope of reducing the spread of Covid 19, especially amongst the old and the vulnerable and to help the NHS cope when dealing with the number of serious infections.

 

But out of the bleakness, one should try not to see isolation as a negative prospect but to encourage oneself to reconnect and rediscover and continue creativity within the confinement of home.

 

As our working routines have changed, it can feel like we are living in perpetual weekend mode, days seem non descriptive or defined and we endlessly wonder from kitchen to desk, to sofa to bed in slumber daze, trying to make sense of it all.

 

But one could also use the time more effectively and create our own personal stimulus that keeps our minds actively creative and to some degree distracted in a more positive way, that will benefit general mental health and wellbeing.

 

Pick up that unopened book that has been sitting on the shelf for far too long, try that recipe you’ve been meaning to cook for ages, clear that wardrobe from unwanted items and block looks for when we can show off again or try re-arranging the furniture to make your space work better for you. You might then be inspired to redecorate, who know’s? There’s absolutely no limit to what we can do with the spare time at home. Only you can set the boundaries.

 

But it’s also about encouraging some reconnection to the things that surround us, that we have collected over time and that we quite often forget about. It’s about rediscovering what those personal things mean to us and why they bring us comfort and pleasure and finding meaning in the important things in life, such as family, friends, a sense of familiarity and fun. Yes fun! Please don’t forget about that. It will come back to welcome us sometime soon, we all hope.

 

Here a few items that our team at Deirdre Dyson have personally picked from their homes that inspires them in some way or brings them a sense of comfort. This reconnection to the inanimate world that we surround ourselves has many benefits. It reminds us of who we are, our history, our inspirations and can lead onto further creative pursuits beyond the items themselves.

Let us know what has #INspired you during lockdown by using this hashtag and tagging us on social media.

 

 

Company Manager Edison – Painting of Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

 

This was a charity find at my local Crusaid Boutique shop in Pimlico, where I live.

 

It was painted in 1977 to mark Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee and is a Cubist oil painting by Cal Howard (as I read it).

 

I’ve tried to search the artist to no avail, so any information would be greatly appreciated!

 

I love the subtle colours of creams and beige leading to deeper chocolate tones and Elizabeth changes throughout the day in different light. Some parts pop whilst others fade. The portrait reminds me of my late grandmother in many ways. The familiarity of a mature and dedicated strong minded woman. It is graceful. It is bold. It reminds me of the pleasure of art and creativity and reinforces the message that quality pieces never fade. Good design and art should survive the test of time. It is a large piece in a very tiny flat, breaking all the rules but hey, its all about pushing the boundaries.

 

Design Technician Nichola – The Lady with the Sunflower on her Head

 

This piece of ceramic  – The Lady with the Sunflower on her Head –  was a present from my family, so she is very special to me.

 

I love ceramics and find the process fascinating. I especially love the fact that every piece is unique.
I normally like objects with a lot of vibrant colour but she is more subtle, thus having a very calming effect.
I love the Sunflower’s position on her head and the detail on her face.  She has a very pleasant face.

I get so much pleasure from having her in my home and never tire of her. 

Trade Sales Manager Chris – Labradorite

I was given this beautiful piece of Labradorite rock crystal a few years ago. I am still always mesmerised by the colours it omits when the light hits it at the right angle on both sides.

It also happens to be the perfect size and shape to fit snugly and generously into the palm of my hand.

I have sometimes held it when I do my daily meditation and was intrigued to recently read some further information about this stone. Seems it holds helpful qualities for times like these!

“Labradorite, the best stone for fighting off an existential crisis. A rock star of mystical lore and ancient legends, the Labradorite crystal meaning can be traced back to the native peoples of icy Canada that believed the stone was created from frozen fire, a result of the northern lights. With its pearly hues that shimmer in a range of iridescent blues and greens, the Labradorite crystal reminds us to keep it magical by linking us to the spirit world, a dimension where anything is possible.”  From energy use.com

Social Media and Marketing Manager Sonia – ‘Young Witches and their Cats’

This is an artists proof that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. It’s called ‘Young Witches and their Cats’ by a well known Limerick artist, John Shinnors.

It’s sentimental for so many reasons – obviously it was a gift from my Mum and Dad, who visited Shinnors at his studio to select it, and I was born and brought up in County Limerick.  It hung in the bedroom I shared with my sister growing up, has been here with me in London since my husband and I bought our first flat and now hangs over our fireplace at home.

Every once and a while my children ask ‘So how many witches and how many cats are there?’ and we can never agree on quite how many and what constitutes a witch or cat!

To say it’s well loved is an understatement, it hangs amidst a mish mash of my husband’s late fathers batiks and prints and bits and pieces of artwork that we’ve picked up (or stuck in a frame) over the years, each in their own way makes me happy but this is definitely the most special.