Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Dragonflies are my new current obsession. This was inspired by looking at Art Nouveau jewellery at both the V&A Museum, and also the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, both of which house stunning collections of jewellery in specially designed galleries. The main inspiration however, was the stunning brooch above, created by Rene Lalique. It is called "Dragonfly Woman Corsage" (1897-1898) and is in the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. It captures perfectly the mythology of the dragonfly as well as the fragility, and beautiful irridescent colouring of these wonderful insects. It also embodies themes characteristic of the Art Nouveau movement such as Nature, eroticism and metamorphosis as well as the use of opulent materials.

Dragonflies have a bad reputation in mythology and they are called the "Devil's Darners" as well as "Water Witches" (Lalique may well have had the latter term in mind when designing the femme fatale/dragonfly hybrid in the above brooch). They were said to sew shut the eyes and ears of children who misbehave, pick out human eyes, and weigh the souls of those whose heads they flew around and then bring injury to them.

It's not all bad news for the poor dragonfly however, as they are revered in China and Japan as holy insects and they also symbolise victory in battle. 

Depictions of dragonflies in the arts and crafts of the Art Nouveau movement perfectly show off the variety of colours in dragonflies and their irridescent glow. Compare the bejewelled versions above to the natural versions below.

My new series began with "Sonar" (below) in which I'm trying to emulate the jewel-like colours of the dragonfly bodies. "Echo" is a meditative all-white piece where the dragonflies are laid out in a similar pattern to "Sonar". More pictures of other designs to come soon.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Patrol of Dragonflies

Prototypes for a new Dragonfly series currently winging their way to galleries. More on them soon....

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spring Has Sprung II

Yes, I think we can officially declare that Spring is finally here and turn off the central heating at last. I was lurking in the East End of London recently, and came across this lovely example of "street art" just off Columbia Rd. I don't know who created it, (do get in contact if you know), but I was impressed enough to capture it with my camera. I noticed that others before me had tried to rip it from the wall in an effort to own it. As well as the beautiful butterflies, I like that in keeping with the ephemeral nature of the street art ethic, it is printed on cheap disposable, brown wrapping paper. Whoever created it is missing a trick, and needs to publish, and sell it as a limited edition print!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Spring Has Sprung

A bit of frippery, just because the sun is out, and temperatures are finally rising. These are some of Andy Warhol's butterflies. They were created when, like me, he was a humble illustrator, before deciding to make that huge leap across the divide to "fine artist". 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Typographic Textiles

Continuing with the typography theme, I really like this seasons trend for bold typography in the world of fashion and textiles. My eyes were caught by these striking typographic print skinny jeans from Topshop, which I think are fun. They are really bold graphically, and although they are for women, would look equally good on any man bold enough to wear them.

This bold typographic dress is also from Topshop.

My favourite piece though is this Helvetica scarf. Constructed from the eponymous typeface, it is so cool! I think I may just have to invest in one of these, but do I go for the letter or number version? It is available from littlefactory.com/scarf/helvetica/