From poets to painters, creatives throughout history have been long captivated by the beauty of birds. Whether mesmerised by their graceful movements, enchanted by their melodic songs or dazzled by their feathery features, there is no denying that these winged wonders are a source of great inspiration for artists.
For our latest blog post, we spoke to Fabric Collective designers Claire Worthington, Lake Augus, Brook Perdigon and Nine Muses about their love for birds and how these creatures have inspired some of their fabric and wallpaper designs.
Take one look at Claire Worthington's wallpapers and you'll instantly recognise this designer's deep love for birds. Featuring a range of species such as cranes, lyrebirds and parakeets, the entire collection is a celebration of our feathered friends.
"I absolutely love birds and they feature in all of my work. I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to fly? Birds are all very different and all amazing in their own ways: swifts that stay airborne for the first two years of their lives and only land when they need to lay their eggs, migratory birds that find their way halfway around the world and back to the same barn, guillemots that lay pointed eggs so they roll around in circles and are less likely to fall off the cliffs where they lay them – they all have their wonderful, fascinating quirks that are so specific to their habitat. It's so brilliant."
"The idea for Parakeets in the Oak came to me one evening at dusk on a dog walk in Wormwood Scrubs. There was a noise and I couldn't figure out what it was. On closer inspection, I realised that most of west London's parakeets nest in the oak trees up there. You see them flying over every evening in small groups but I had never realised they were all going to the same place to roost for the night!"
Image above: Temple Cranes Wallpaper
"I was inspired to create the Temple Cranes design during a fabulous holiday with my family in the Himalayas. I learnt that the cranes come back to the same valley every year and the myth goes that they circle the temple three times before they land in order to bring good luck."
Image above: Jasmine Birds French Blue Wallpaper
Image above: Arbutus Wallpaper
Image above: Jasmine Birds Indian Green Wallpaper
Another artistic expression of her love for birds, Claire is working on a series of bird collages including a range of species from lyrebirds to wood pigeons. She has loved looking closely at the details of these amazing creatures.
Collage images above credit: David Loftus
Discover more Claire Worthington designs here
Sometimes inspiration can come not directly from nature but from another artist's unique depiction of it. This was the case for designer Brook Perdigon as she came to design the much-loved Canopy fabric and wallpaper which features block-printed bird illustrations throughout.
"In 2015, I travelled to India for a block printing trip. I fell in love with all of the magical details hidden within Indian miniature paintings and wanted to create a textile that had a similar feeling. I started designing with painted sketches, then carved blocks of the birds to print for texture."
Images above: Inspiration and development for Canopy design
Image above: Canopy Cove
Discover more Brook Perdigon designs here
Alexis Hartman, designer of Lake August is often inspired by the power of wallpaper to transport you. In creating her Flock in Flight design, she imagined herself by being out in nature, watching birds in their natural habitat.
"I love how adding wallpaper to a space can create an entirely new atmosphere. In the case of Flock in Flight I imagined sitting high on a cliff over the ocean, watching birds soar by. The birds I painted for this design are barnacle geese, which I first saw when visiting Scotland."
Images above: Flock in Flight Wallpaper in Halcyon
Discover more Lake August designs here
A famously beautiful bird, we have the majestic peacock to thank for Nine Muses's gorgeous Antique Indienne design.
"The ‘bird’ in the Antique Indienne design is a Peacock painted in the naive form surrounded by sprigs and flowers in Indian style. The Peacock carries such significance in India, it is one of my favourite designs in Nine Muses Textiles. I have chosen the pallet of India as the colour ways."
Discover more Nine Muses designs here