Written and Illustrated by Alexandre J. Barre
"...And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?"
I live in Balham in the southern part on London's urban sprawl - hardly the verdant pastures of Blake's utopia - so what's the draw of Mother Nature?
The experts tell us that we are all drawn inexorably to our human roots, and indeed, even modern city life seems to reflect this fact. Classical and neo-classical architecture has columns that represent bundles of Egyptian marshland reeds. Wood and stone are still the backbone of living interiors despite it being the age of concrete and glass. Our social groupings continue to centre around family and tribal structures. We eat food not that different from our ancient forefathers even if they are wrapped in luridly colored plastics and foils.
So it is with fashion. In every age we clothe ourselves in fires of cotton and wool and remain shod in leather. Jewellery is dominated by gold and gemstones drawn from the earth, despite being polished and faceted.
But it is the way we like to present ourselves overall that still draws our tastes to nature's inspiration. The flowing train of a dress like majestic waterfalls or the spreading roots of great forest trees. Patterns or prints on fabrics are frequently flowers or designs that flow like trailing ivy or glimmer and glisten as the morning frosts.
So my simple pencil drawing of Mother Nature itself draws me - a great fecund cloak of the seasons and all the aspects I still see in my garden or the London parks - the leaves, blooms and fruits balanced and flowing into the ultimate organic haute couture.
Alexandre J. Barre is a freelance artist and illustrator.