Whilst travelling in India recently it became even more apparent to Wendy that it’s time for human kind to embrace whole heartedly the art of ‘Slow Living’. It was plain to see in raw exposure the detrimental effects of fast paced consumerism pressure. Though India has a rich culture and is bountiful with fertile lands and natural resources, the impact of mass production of temporal paraphernalia grated in stark contrast to the stoic, animated and virtuous nature of the people she was amongst. The visible reality of global over consumption and monumental waste were alarmingly evident in the distressed habitat and pollutant atmosphere in the country’s otherwise captivating cities.
Though technology has provided greater access to knowledge, it has also satiated our desire for instant gratification, reason and reassurance. This in turn has resulted in high levels of anxiety and discontent whenever there is change or uncertainty. These feelings of stress and vulnerability demonstrate the need to understand the effect that high demand has on our lives.
What if we focus on the ‘essentials’, let go of the concept of ‘missing out’, make space for balance and harmony and in so doing enrich our lives by connecting to our planet through mind, body and spirit. Wellness workshops are spreading across the globe advocating the benefits of slowing down. When we’re stabilised emotionally we can welcome change and accept the flaws of hand crafted goods. By eliminating self imposed pressure we are free to treasure the beauty of each valuable component in our home.
It’s palpable that Millenials are initiating change making conscious decisions to live a more balanced life. According to Jaye Anna Mize, VP of Home Interiors, our personal goals are mutating towards ‘Essentialism’ thus encompassing only the basic essentials. An attainment of fewer, better things and invention of new craft techniques.
Whilst designing Floral Waves, a luxurious, limited edition, wool and silk rug Wendy felt the importance of incorporating aspects that meet the demands of our modern day lives. A rug that can be used in multi-functional spaces, of friendly, natural, sustainable materials, a rug that harnesses craftsmanship, that has energy and finally represents an art piece creating ambience for your home.
The story telling design immerses the spectator into an organic, peaceful setting, a colourful yet serene sensory experience providing relief from mundane, mechanical technology.
Floral Waves is inspired by Japanese culture – the seigaiha (wave) is interpreted using the motif of layered concentric circles which portray the ebb and flow of rolling waves providing security, strength and surges of good luck. A rich, Prussian blue denotes the sea and life within. This symbol was originally used on ancient maps of China to depict the sea. From there it flourished throughout Japan being incorporated on kimonos, ceramic ware, lacquer ware and graphic design.
The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai
Blue being associated with depth and stability denotes a soothing, masculine backdrop which calms the mind and body. This is elegantly contrasted with the femininity of tropical, bright birds perched in full glory on branches of exquisite flowering magnolia. Blue slows the human metabolism providing a tranquil effect and tropical birds lead a slower pace of life than our northerly friends according to PNAS studies (2007). As we gaze at birds soaring through the air we’re transported to a more spiritual realm leaving behind our earthly concerns. It’s a time to connect with nature, to reflect and enjoy.
Magnolias symbolise beauty and gentleness. Furthermore in Japanese culture the bark of the Magnolia tree has found to have restorative powers. It also represents the sublime, the natural and a love of nature. They bloom boldly representing magnificance and splendid charm.
Interpreting animal symbolism is a powerful way to connect with nature. The charming butterfly depicted on Floral Waves undergoes rapid transformation in it’s short life symbolising quite literally the beauty of change. As we evolve our practices towards greener living we too can experience the revelation of true beauty.
Wendy’s sense of ecological responsiblity demonstrates you don’t need to sacrifice luxury and style. Truly great design remains ! The key as we strive to protect ourselves and our envirnoment is to slow down, contemplate only then have we begun the path to enlightenment !