Debbie Lawson

‘Debbie Lawson’s sculptures, where 3D flora and fauna surreally spring from the intricate patterns of Persian rugs, draw out this buried dream life of objects. Yet they do so in a way that cannily disrupts and subverts the fantasies. The fairy tale logic of childhood dominates her artistic universe, a place where flat walls and textiles become animated, moving magically from two dimensions to three, where strange lands can be imagined sprouting from a rug’s soft pile, bordered by its four sharp edges, or furnishings metamorphose into animal companions…

Aesop’s Fox and The Grapes, or Richard Bach’s hippy­-era allegory of spiritual enlightenment, Jonathan Livingston Seagull come to mind, fables about creatures dissatisfied with their lot. Yet Lawson’s choice of birds and beasts here speak as much of the modern world as they do timeless parables. The bedraggled urban fox haunting rubbish bins and back gardens, or the predatory gull, ever ready to grab a lunchtime sarnie from a city­ worker’s hands, are the mangy real-­life version of these fabulous beasts.

Perhaps we should think of Lawson’s works less as fables, which traditionally come with a straight black and white moral, than a picaresque series of encounters where her beleaguered animals become downtrodden Don Quixotes or Candides on a subtly satirical adventure through the trappings of contemporary petit­ bourgeois life.’ From an essay by Skye Sherwin, 2013