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Ciaran, Ciaran Dance Design (South Drawood exhibition)

  • Year Invented: 2018

Ciaran is an architect by background but left the industry feeling it wasn’t the easiest place for a woman. She still does architectural work as well as interior styling but she is her own boss and spends the majority of her time making bespoke lampshades. Her friend Sarah (of Red Kite Plants) suggested she started making and selling lamps as Ciaran used to do events at the Dulwich Women’s Institute. She now fills her loft with lampshades, all different designs, colours and sizes which are sold online and at local markets. Her favourite range are her hidden range, which is where one design is seen on the outside of the lampshade, but once lit up a different pattern shines through. She also makes lampshades to order so anyone wanting their own personal design should get in toucht!

Ciaran has lived in London since 1999, originally living in Clapham, before moving to Camden, then Dulwich and finally to South Norwood in 2015. She takes part in various community groups in the area and loves the friendliness of South Norwood. Her favourite elements of the area are the green spaces and the good transport networks into central London. Alike to so many others, Ciaran would like to see the empty shops filled as there is so much wasted space on the Highstreet. She would like to see more variety and would personally like to see a bakery and deli filling some of those spaces. 


Words by Elizabeth Walters

Interview with Ciaran, Owner of Ciaran Dance Design, April 2022

Ciaran Dance Design



This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.

From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.

South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.

The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.

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