Deirdre Dyson may be best known for her carpet designs, but this month she is exhibiting her paintings
Deirdre Dyson, renowned for her subtle and inventive carpet designs, is first and foremost a painter. This March, Dyson opens a show of 17 new artworks that have, in a reciprocal exchange of inspiration, been directly stimulated by her designs.Hosted by respected fine art dealer, Simon Capstick-Dale at a private gallery in St James’s, visitors will discover trompe-l’oeil imagery and subtle gradations of light and colour painstakingly achieved through silk and wool, from sketches originally drawn up in pencil, here translated into oil paintings.
Deirdre says: “It has been wonderful to please myself with colour instead of restricting myself to subtle colours, mindful of what a client might select for their floor. With these paintings, I felt completely free to play with colours and to make them sing on the canvas. Nothing had to represent anything, they were already my creations and I could do just what I liked with them. They have proved technically difficult to paint but joyous fun too.”
The ‘Design is Art’ series began in lockdown, when, confined to her London apartment, Dyson could draw only on what she could see from her window and her meticulous archive of designs. These included a series of carpet designs (Looking Glass) inspired by the effect of looking at the world through a curved glass bottle – but have gone on to encompass other more abstract distillations of visual experience – such as the multi-coloured ribbons that evoke a line of Can-Can dancers, in her 2023 Angles series. Seizing on paint’s potential to create multiple overlapping layers of colour, Dyson has transformed these complex geometric patterns and imagery drawn from natural phenomena into a series of vibrant art works. Dyson reports that part of the excitement has been experimenting with scale and colour contrasts, without the need to conform to the conventional dimensions and tonal range of carpetry. All the art works reflect her interest in pattern, movement, light and shadow, and the multifarious impacts of refracted light on form and colour.
Dyson trained at the Byam Shaw School of Arts, and then Wimbledon College of Art, where she took a three year diploma in illustration and graphic design. Since then she has continued to paint alongside her design work. Her distinctive practice combines a fascination for the natural phenomena of water, light and reflection, achieved through a free handling of paint, with a strong command of geometry, colour and pattern. These interests have fed directly into Dyson’s distinctive carpets.
Deirdre Dyson ‘Design Is Art‘ Fine Art Exhibition
22 March-6 April
Simon Capstick-Dale @ Gallery Eight, 8 Duke Street, SW1Y 6BN
Following the Gallery 8 exhibition, Deirdre’s paintings will hang in her London Gallery (554 King’s Road SW6 2DZ) from 24-28 April as part of the Chelsea Design Quarter Springtime Sessions (25-27 April) with an ‘art & aperitivo’ event and chance to meet Deirdre on 25 April 4-6pm.
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