[quote]The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. ― John Muir[/quote]
Even though you have always loved birds, the shelves of design-sophisticate shops like Jonathan Adler, Anthropologie and ABC Carpet & Home have started to look a bit like that old Alfred Hitchcock movie, without the screams of terror.
The reason may be that these images are more than fanciful decoration. They are neo-shamanic imagery. Flaunting flora and fauna on our clothes, jewelry, and walls is our way of bearing modern totems that reflect our relationship to nature and our own wildness. The city is the new jungle. We are all vying for our place in it, struggling to survive while simultaneously trying to sync our heartbeats to the rhythm of the Earth. We develop tribal loyalties (to brands, political parties, sports teams) in order to ground ourselves in the natural order of things by finding nature where we can.
In the face of a world that disregards our feral origins in favor of a more contemporary “civility,” stylish representations of animals and nature develop into pervasive design presences, inviting cultural identity through consumerism. How we choose to adorn ourselves and our homes says a lot about the natural impulses that are driving us.
Boxes of honey-bee thank you cards tap into a deeply held cultural need for community. A quirky owl wall decal expresses a collective thirst for higher wisdom. Wide-eyed rabbits embroidered onto pillow shams access the child within. Foxes screen-printed onto messenger bags evoke our innate ingenuity.
Be a style shaman of the modern age! Here's how:
- Folk art. Collecting folk or outsider art is a great way to “sound your barbaric yawp.”
- Find your spirit animal. What beast most reflects you? You don't have to emboss a t-shirt with it, but you might find a place of honor in your home for its likeness.
- Wear fake fur. Keep warm, look wild.