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Deirdre Dyson
Bespoke painterly carpets inspired by nature and crafted in Nepal

Over the last twenty years, nature has been a constant inspiration for renowned fine artist and carpet designer, Deirdre Dyson. Past collections have drawn from elements such as plants, trees, birds and the sea, but for this year’s themed Looking Glass range she focused on the refraction of light and colour. Unveiled at Maison et Objet in January, the nine designs include Transparent, a reinterpretation of decorative shapes on a coloured vase and Light Between, a play on contrasting monochrome grading with the illusion of light.

Deirdre Dyson carpets are designed to be contemporary collectibles that stand alone as artworks for the floor, and increasingly, walls

‘With this collection, my aim was to simulate a visual glassy appearance using wool and silk. A challenge indeed but I hoped that even if I failed to achieve this, I would still create exciting and interesting results and effects,’ explains Dyson, who initially came to carpet design by accident when trying unsuccessfully to source suitable contemporary rugs for her home. There’s also Slivers, which stems from a series of small flat discs of overlapping glass and combines 33 colours in wool and silk. Looking Through began as a painting of the distortions seen through a water-filled flask against the actual shapes behind.

 

Alongside the annual collection, Dyson produces bespoke designs and receives commissions from around the world from individuals, designers and architects. Her original concepts, drawings and paintings are accurately reproduced digitally, which allows her and her clients to visualise the designs before they are produced and ensure that the carpets  – which are either hand-knotted in Nepal by artisan craftsmen or gun tufted here in the UK – are as close as possible to the original artwork. ‘My passion has always been to explore form and colour. My works in oils on canvas are figurative and colourful, mainly life painting, still life and landscape work,’ she says.

The attention to detail in the design process (Dyson personally selects colours from over 5,000 different hues of pure Tibetan wool and Chinese silk) is mirrored in the production, with each rug made to an exacting quality. The weavers first create an intricately detailed coloured map of the designs, which is then printed full-size and hung over the top of the loom for each worker to follow. It is painstaking work: 100 knots make up the size of a postage stamp. Dyson has a close working relationship with the artisans who create her carpets, which enables her to meet with them regularly and talk through new ideas and technical possibilities.

Deirdre Dyson carpets are designed to be contemporary collectibles that stand alone as artworks for the floor, and increasingly, walls. With the resurgence in interest in textile art and clients choosing to hang carpets (the pile height can be lowered to reduce weight), Dyson has recently begun creating limited edition carpet artworks. The combination of Dyson’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand-knotting is slow design at its finest and a comprehensive collection of her work can be seen at her gallery on the King’s Road – as well as a space just-launched in Paris. Whether displayed on the floor or the wall, these are heirloom-quality pieces designed to last a lifetime.

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