Being a designer and a lover of beauty, sometimes I feel like a seeker, zoning in on what is trending and waning. Almost like a design moon reader, watching the pull of what the tide brings in and washed out. Something showing up a lot of lately, not just on my visits home to South Africa, but popping up consistently everywhere in more subtle ways, is the Protea. Emblazoned or hinted at, on pillows, wallpaper, and in floral cuttings. Natural flora and fauna twin like thistle and derivative artichoke have also been spotted as adornment.
I love Proteas.Named for the Greek God Proteaus because he could change his form at will. Proteas appear to include all the elements that echo in a woman’s sanctuary. Firm outer petals, like boundaries that establish the edge of a woman’s space. With pointy, or rounded leaves that hold an intricate sweetness intact. Each one glorious and unique. Proteas also speak very much to the emotional creative space we are in right now.They are edgy, bold and exotic, echoing the forms that call to our collective cells and the pull towards Cubism. Striping down to what sparks joy.
Centers filled with beauty. Hard and soft, thin and thick. Symbolic repetition of form that create the extraordinary appearance of individual strands forming a singular wholeness The outer edge protects that inner softness and allows it to blossom. That delicate symmetry that would be lost without firm borders.
Every creation of nature has natural boundaries. Walls of the sanctuary to hold the sacred within, the underbelly of the protea or a woman. No hiding required when there is space to glory in uniqueness. Lines drawn to draw the eye. Simplicity and starkness remind us that each flower stands alone. Every woman must be her own mistress. While the flower grows from a bush of shared resources, each bloom declares her own sovereignty.
Proteas, native to South Africa, run the gamut from barely visible flowers to spectacular and showy. They all remind me of the spirit of Africa, hardy and glowing, evoking a sense of personal ownership. To survive the protea must be vulnerable, tough, and reveal her creative layers and coloring, just like a strong woman expressing her voice in the world.
Are you drawn to proteas? What action are you taking to declare boundaries in your world? I would love to hear in a comment below.