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Debbie Lawson

Artist Debbie Lawson in front of one of her Persian carpet bear sculptures

Artist 307

Debbie Lawson

3D Persian Oriental Carpet Sculptures

Debbie Lawson is a Scottish artist from Dundee who lives and works in London. She is known for her sculptures that emerge from the surfaces of traditional persian carpets. These immersive forms take the shape of various flora and fauna species. She transforms them into three-dimensional, mixed media hybrids.

3D Persian carpet sculpture of a boar head. The pattern is grey and black with the tusks protruding

Debbie Lawson's work takes the form of a series of episodes that invite the viewer on a journey through her landscapes of domestic interior. She combines popular narratives and personal histories so that her imaginary and material realities are inseparable.

3D Persian carpet sculpture of a bear head. The pattern is blue and gold with the teeth protruding

Visual codes collide, giving form to new animated hybrids with a quietly sinister appearance.

3D Persian carpet sculpture of a bear head head on. The pattern is red and gold with the teeth protruding

At the heart of Lawson’s work is a focus on the cultural traditions surrounding everyday objects – specifically those found in homes that have social prestige and material success.

Side angle of two 3D Persian carpet sculptures. One of a bear and one of a moose head.

And although it may look elaborate, the impetus behind Lawson’s work comes from a stripped-down idea of sculpture: the patterned carpet she uses as an outer surface emphasises the finer qualities of the original form. It also disrupting the reading of the sculpture so that it feels like if shifts between two or three alternate dimensions and by doing this creates a visual slippage. Where the artwork fails to meet the mental reading standard of our consciousness

Lawson says that her inspiration comes from a preoccupation with a literary form called the picaresque. In this literary form, the protagonist is often an ordinary and somewhat naive personae. Is it their adventure that exposes them to the hidden, sometimes darker, meanings of the ordinary. This exploration of the ordinary to bring out the hidden meaning is a central theme in the artist’s work.

Two 3D Persian carpet sculpture of bears. The pattern of one is gold and blue and the other is red and gold. Both are life size

Known for her tapestries,with heads and fauna affixed that all but disappear when you stand before the work. It is when you move slightly to the right or left and the animal reveals itself. Her work infiltrates the safe ‘space’ of the family home with hints of unpredictable and uncontrollable energy and as such akin to childlike daydreams and nightmares.

3D Persian carpet sculpture of a fox and fauna. The pattern is red and black

Lawson explains on her work, “I have always ‘accidentally’ spotted images in patterns, on textured walls and floors made of wood or lino – any material really. It’s an obsession that I decided to explore in the studio, using first wood grain and then carpet to make work in which the pattern morphed into an actual image or form…More recently I have focussed on animal forms to explore the idea of camouflage, and of its opposite: display.”

3D Persian carpet sculpture of a life size bear. The pattern is red and gold with the body protruding

Sources consulted


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