Sunday, May 18, 2008
I like this dress, there is lot of giant mushrooms on it. They have started to appear quite often on clothes, I guess that Japanese design has something to do with it, as far as I am able to say from searching the internet. Maybe I am wrong, does anybody know?
Mushrooms in general are nice subject for design, there are few around my house: a T-shirt (above, 2007), a scarf (follows, 1950s), baby overalls (1980s) and a cup (pre-war), the latter from the time when it started to be a highest scream of kitsch - toadstool and a dwarf or a child like on the cup presented here. It is interesting to trace it back, where this image comes from, apparently from Victorian British painting of fairies and pucks where mushrooms started to appear randomly every now and then. The style of paintings became popular in magazine illustrations in subsequent era and that is how it all started. At least that is how it seems to me after I did some research on it. There were also Bavarian fairy-tales involved in this evolution, they liked red mushrooms with white spots there a lot. And, of course, a mushroom and a frog themselves are much older, mythological, still, the 19th century illustrations gave the image its appearance.
Anyway, the fact that Czechs are tempted mushroom hunters doesn't have any mystical reason, it is a pure education of public through good mushroom guide books published here in larger amount since the beginning of the 20th century. That way people stopped being scared of poisonous kinds and also started to pick other species than just boleti. These two illustrations go with a folk poem from the pre-war time, so are the illustrations, general stuff from my little son's books.
These pictures come from an exhibition in a little school somewhere out in mountains where I come from. I liked how they had it done artistically, not just like a scientific mushroom guide book but also the way that mushrooms could be an inspiration. And they did not mean the psychedelic ones, of course, they just felt there is something creative in them.
Now the giant mushrooms are especially appealing to me right now, they are painted a lot but I haven't been able to find any reference to it in some kind of a written source. If I ever do, I'll let you know. This painting is by Barbora Motlová.