This collection, which is my second Spring Summer, showcases my favourite colours and illustrative style that puts my niche obsessions to the forefront. Designing wearable art and furthermore creating a community of others that share my love of pattern, texture, adoration of animals, nature, and a balance of gaudy and gorgeous.

 

The themes of 'Strong + Soft' embrace resilience and tenderness within communities and within individuals. Juxtaposed emotions that are felt in us all, and with the right balance is a wonderful way to be. We should all strive for a balance of softness and strength. 

 

I am one to explore niche loves and pigeons have been a primary motif in this collection because I think they’re such charming and wonderful little animals. They are often under appreciated, unloved and not noticed or celebrated, yet these birds are SHINY !! They are naturally iridescent and more colourful and confident than most animals on this earth ! Certainly more so than humans. I hate the idea of people just seeing pigeons as grey… just grey ! Pigeons showcase a plethora of colours. Life is so enriching when you look carefully and allow yourself to see the world in the most beautiful way; refining, selecting and cherry picking the best bits life has to give. Colour engages and excites me and I am able to find inspiration everywhere. I am bursting with enthusiasm for the everyday visuals and enjoy depicting them in stylised and emotive ways. Pigeons are a symbol of resilience; they are hardy and loving birds. They are soft and they are strong. 

 

The new print design ‘Strong + Soft’ depicts ever-growing flowers entwined with barbed wire, which is inspired by a few notable things. Pigeons settle on the tops of buildings, ones that usually have hazards like barbed wire to deter them, but they can also be found enjoying the beauty and delicacy of flowers and gentle grasses. They survive in environments that are both soft and strong. At first interaction with this print it may seem just a playful and punchy floral as the softness of the rounded petals fill the fabric; the barbed wire is noticed with more observation. In life, we see the beautiful things in people first and then realise woven through that journey are times of difficulty and resilience. Despite this, overall we can grow to be in full bloom, or at the very least learn to live alongside these challenges and darker, dangerous moments. The harmonious pairing of interlocking soft flora and strong wire represents the complexities of real life.

 

Inspired by the ‘Day Tree / Night City’ print from my graduate collection ‘Dreaming and Doing’ (2019) I drew ‘Pigeon Utopia’ depicting these iridescent creatures in their softer setting, nestled in nature, where they can live peacefully away from humans harsh glare and dismissal of them. In this illustrated utopia, day and night, these darling birds live life healthy and happy and certainly at their most shiny. The front of the skirt showcases a beaming sun and the reverse is a slither of the moon. I really take time to indulge and enjoy the moon and the sun and all it’s qualities and powers. This is a really fun placement print and is my love letter to pigeons. The velvet fabric chosen for it enhances the shimmer and sheen of their chest feathers. 

 

The ‘Pigeons in Love’ print is totally in my top three fav prints ever designed, and with my archive growing to over 50 print designs currently the top spot is tough to get, especially as many of my designs are personally conceptual and show the intimacies of my interests. 

The ‘Pigeons in Love’ print proudly shows a flock of loveable friends, some in love, some on the look out and some content with life regardless. 

As always, thank you all so much for the continued support to my creative visions and dreams!

Elizabeth Whibley xxx

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