You probably already know this or may have guessed from my designs that the animal kingdom is large source of inspiration. Every design I have created thus far features some sort of creature, even the company logo has a butterfly in it! The fact is that I just love drawing animals (especially those that have wings), they are fascinating creatures full of intricate details, natural patterns and fluid shapes. Even more exciting is the biology and history of the animals themselves, as well as the stories we attribute to them throughout time. This love of drawing creatures led to me discovering entomology and Taxidermy, which bridges that gap between the natural world and our study and general fascination of it.
Entomology and Taxidermy is a practice that dates back as far as the Egyptian period where Embalmed animals were places alongside mummified humans in the sarcophagus. Over thousands of years the practice has evolved and adapted to its surroundings, but one thing remains, it has always been an art form. It’s also been a sad Practice where demand has led to hunting rare and even now extinct animals to supply a market with an appetite for collecting objects from far flung lands, this is especially noticeable during the Victorian period in England. The hunting and killing of animals purely for taxidermy should not be condoned, especially when there are now ethical and environmentally sound ways of acquiring animals or their skins. Entomology on the other hand is not such an issue, as Bugs are prolific breeders meaning that collecting them to study or use as art cannot harm the population. What truly harms them is the destruction of habitats.
This leads me to talk about Biophilia by Cristopher Marley. Christopher is an artist and designer that creates Taxidermy and entomological artworks from ethically and environmentally collected animals/bugs, these are collected from a network of people and institutes that share a passion for nature.
Open Biophilia on any page and you are faced with powerful imagery that makes you appreciate natural beauty even in the ugliest of creatures! This is especially clear in the chapter entitled insects where Christopher has curated pages of his clean and yet strikingly detailed geometric artworks next to a singular macro image of an insect, allowing you to study the patterns and colours that adorn these beautiful creatures.
Other sections of the book feature spiny crustaceans or entangled rope like snakes, which have already been the inspiration for a new design that Dalliance & Noble will be launching soon, read more here. Finally, the section entitled Birds, it’s a stunning study of feather formations on Parrots and Parakeets, Christopher has them appear like angels ascending.
Biophilia I have discovered means, ‘an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life’ which is exactly what this book represents and will remain a source of inspiration for my work and a mainstay in the Dalliance & Noble Library.