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  • Writer's pictureSarah Campbell

Mogwaii Morphosis

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how my work is constantly evolving, changing morphing in form and colour in to a related but kind of different version of it’s parent .

I used to and still sometimes do feel as though the work shouldn’t. As though the perfect design would not need to change due to it’s utter brilliance in every respect. But then I think…well, everything is representative of a moment in time and time is constantly moving and changing as do we, so our perspective changes with it. Atleast mine does. My designs keep morphing and moving just as a caterpillar morphs in to a moth or butterfly but who could say the butterfly is a better creature than the caterpillar.

Case in point: Mogwaii Butterfly design(s)

My first memories of butterflies were chasing them in the long bog grasses next to our cottage on hot, summer afternoons. I remember reading Papillon as a teenager and equating the butterfly with unadulterated freedom and indipendence and sneeking off to a tatoo parlour to be tattooed with a blue butterfly I had found a picture of in a wild butterfly book. Then, a year after the conception of Mogwaii and a side swerve away from the bold designs of Mogwaii’s first collection I introduced the delicate butterfly.

I remember being so excited with the idea of something so delicate and almost ethereal emerging via felt…felt! So solid, so grounded, so robust. I loved this juxtaposition, still do!

So here’s one of the first styles of butterfly cushions with the butterfly print on the upper side. I felt compelled to introduce a strong verticle line, almost like a barrier or boundary, as though the butterfly was to a certain extent hindered, trapped.

Butterflies started to appear on lamps.

I remember sketching moths round the lights in Brazil. I’d pick them up in the morning, the ones that had died, and take them back to my bedroom to draw. Ze, the Brazilian taxi man was horrified, the belief being that you will go blind if you touch a moth. Hmmm!

Here’s a blast from the past. Butterflythrow and cushion in a very fine felt, which I don’t use now. this felt had viscose content and would pill and it started to bug me after a while.

Then I started to want the butterfly markings to be on the underside of the felt, somehow I felt they were too twee and I wanted them plain and drained of colour hence the black and white underside.

Then the half butterflies trapped in the seems and without colour apart from a couple of small splashes. The Sofa workshop bought a lot of this style of cushion. My friend, Margo Selby says she can tell I went to Goldsmiths coming out with all that conceptual tripe! Well, I think it’s quite interesting even if it is of no interest whatsoever to the end user, or is it…you tell me?

An then…came the butterfly strip which I am completely in love with at the moment.

A whole army of butterflies now, crammed in, no space for manoeuvre.

I bet the psychologists among you are having a hay day!!

I think I better stop before I give too much away.

See you soon


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