Lions and tigers and bears and rabbits, oh my, in Australia, OH MY!
I really don’t understand the use of non-indigenous flora and fauna as inspiration for designers in our country. I love lions and tigers etc. but unless you differentiate somehow it all becomes the same. And isn’t this what we love about our world that it isn’t all the same everywhere you go? Perusing the pages of one of my favourite magazines, Frankie, I am always dismayed and disappointed that our amazing flora and fauna have once again been overlooked for Northern hemisphere choices and dare I say it reeks of colonialism too?
Young Australian designers instead of looking in their own backyard for inspiration are copying and representing animals and flora that are not only non-indigenous but are feral. I assume that they have no understanding of how the fox (an introduced feral species along with the rabbit) have wreaked such devastation amongst our native animals. In England the Fox is the underdog, in Australia it represents a lethal killing machine…do these young designers know this? I think not. Otherwise they would not represent them with such cute fondness, and cuddliness.
I teach at a design school and I’m always amazed at the lack of what is local that is represented in the students’ works. There are no possums, koalas, wallabies, potoroos, quolls, bandicoots…. etc to be seen. Instead we are presented with foxes, rabbits, and deer, bears, Northern Hemisphere creatures, all well and good in their rightful habitat.
And as for textile prints that feature florals it is only a brave few designers that stand out, Cloth is one, that uses banksias, waratahs etc. They are not afraid to stand up and stand out, to use the amazing diversity and uniqueness found in the Australian continent, to carve out a niche in an ever increasingly blandly designed world….
Does anyone realise the koalas are in danger?