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Newton Paisley

Press Release: Launching Paisley Paramecium by Newton Paisley, ICFF, New York, May 2019Susy Paisley is a conservation biologist who always illustrated her field notes in the tradition of scientists such as Maria Sibyla Merian, Elizabeth Gould, Marianne North and Margaret Fountaine, who all created detailed, sensitive illustrations of the flora and fauna they studied. Building on a lifelong passion for textiles, she now translates her illustrations into a stunning collection of fabric and wallpaper designs for the home.

Newton Paisley

Newton Paisley was launched in London in 2016.  As well as winning the Kent Creative Design Award, it was included in 50 Highlights of London Design Week in Homes & Gardens. Last year Newton Paisley was awarded three top accolades at the ICFF: Best in Show for Wall coverings from the IFDA and ICFF and Top Picks from the show from Architectural Digest. The fabrics and wallpapers, all portraying the beauty of neglected and endangered species, have been to greatly popular in domestic projects, restaurants and boutique hotels.

Launching a new design : Paisley Paramecium

Paisley Paramecium is a textile and wallpaper design celebrating the web of micro-organisms that forms the base of the pyramid of all life. The inspiration for this design was a play on the traditional tear-drop shape of the classic paisley motif resembling a unicellular organism called a paramecium.

The species in this design are aquatic, including many free-floating plankton upon whom the health of all marine creatures depends. Phytoplankton are also of serious conservation concern - warming oceans have caused population declines of 40% since 1950. Change is desperately needed in how we perceive our interconnectedness within, and dependence upon, the web of life. To illustrate this, Paisley Paramecium brings to (much-larger-than) life organisms so small that billions fit in a test tube,

In addition to paramecia and paisley-esque nudibranchs, euglena, diatoms, algae, amoeba and spirogyra, also included in this design are circular Prochlorococcus, a type of phytoplankton that releases countless tons of oxygen into the atmosphere (probably the world’s most abundant photosynthetic organisms). Some scientists estimate that Prochlorococcus provides the oxygen for one in every five breaths we take. 

The design also features several copepods - a group which together comprises the largest biomass on the Earth. Copepods absorb 1-2 billion tons of carbon per year, making them the largest carbon sink in the world. 

The whole living world rests on these incredible beings, only 1% of which have been identified, never mind prioritised. Paisley Paramecium is a tribute to this vital miniature universe - so symmetrical and precise in form and yet so bizarre - that surrounds us and yet is invisible to the naked eye.

Collaboration with Howard Chairs

Newton Paisley is also about to launch an exciting collaboration with extremely august British furniture manufacturer Howard Chairs. Founded 200 years ago, and in possession of something like 14 royal warrants through the years, Howard is practically unique in maintaining the most traditional of furniture making and upholstery methods. The classic much-copied beauty of their designs, the sustainability and long-lastingness of their products make them a dream collaboration for Newton Paisley. 

Connecting art and design to conservation:

As reported by Pattern Observer, flora and fauna make up 70% of the textile design market across fashion and home interiors. Yet often these designs are abstract and generalised or lacking context in the natural world.   

Authenticity, narrative and context are key to Susy's designs. Through her illustrations and textile designs, Newton Paisley fabrics tell the stories of endangered and neglected species whilst rejoicing in their extraordinary diversity and beauty.

Susy is passionate about contributing to the preservation of critical wild habitats. Through a collaboration with World Land Trust, of which Sir David Attenborough is a patron, for every metre of fabric and roll of wallpaper sold, 100m2 of wild habitat are preserved. 

Quote from Dr Susy Paisley, designer and owner of Newton Paisley:

‘At last year’s ICFF I was asked many times for my paisleys. I hadn’t expected this - I don’t follow trends and hadn’t realised that my namesake pattern is enjoying such a resurgence. It was a great catalyst to fulfil a long held idea for a paisley incorporating microorganisms and highlighting the need to think holistically about conservation including the most under-appreciated of nature’s marvels. ’


For images, interviews and more information please contact:
Susy Paisley: email mobile 07971 674839
Lorna Pugh: email mobile 07970 197913

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