As exotic Brazilian species are introduced, a heavenly glow settles over the painted tiles of Portugal.
It is mid-Summer in Europe, and a small Portuguese town lies abandoned to the dust. The streets are deserted of people, the homes and churches derelict and hollow. Tile-clad houses reflect the sunlight against one-another, creating a hazy passage of translucent light between them, their patterns seared into the shadows. This summer has been hot and dry; no rain for three months and the earth is thirsty. A stifling breeze carries dust throughout the streets and large cracks are appearing in the stonework.
From the parapets, a single monkey’s howl rings out, echoing through the empty spaces. The long, high note hangs in the heavy air, suspended in the silence. The sound fades out, and stillness resumes. Suddenly, it is answered by a second call; a frantic chatter reverberates from the rooftops, and in a flash, a wave of monkeys are sweeping and swinging from every outcrop. Dry branches snap beneath their fingers, and ancient tiles fall shattering to the floor. Ravaging the architecture as they go, the monkeys scatter papaya seeds beneath them as they eat, dripping the rich juices onto the arid earth below. Introduced from Brazil in 1501, these exotic species and tropical fruits were once a marvel and a delicacy. A hundred years on, they have exchanged places with the townsfolk, emigrated to grow sugar cane in the hope of a new life.
There is little escape from the beating sun, but the animals are wily. The thick stone walls of the churches are cool in the shadows, the alcoves creating pockets of crisp air for those seeking respite from the heat. Plants appear to thrive here too, clipped back for many years, now bursting through the cracks in the walls and climbing the intricate tilework. Birds perch in the sculpted pockets, cats lounge in the shadowy cavities and the wild hares leave their burrows for the feeling of fresh stonework beneath their paws.
Once used as a shire to the Madonna, these alcoves are now a different type of sanctuary. Their dilapidated glory worships and celebrates the beauty and resilience of nature’s divine bounty.
This collection references the beautiful Azulejo (painted tile) art of Portugal and Brazil, often containing trompe l’oeil scenes within alcoves in the walls. Religious roadside shrines and tributes around the streets of Europe also play a large part, alongside the beautiful Renaissance paintings, altarpieces and triptychs which inspired them. Finally, this work cites the intricate hand painted illusions of mural artist Graham Rust. The studio moodboard for O, Divina Natura is full of colour, nature and history. Discover key elements of Sabina’s research here, and view some of the images which inspired her designs.
View the collection illustrations in progress, and see how the drawings transform into detailed and intricate scarf designs. Sabina creates a story for each collection, as shown below, which is then illustrated and narrated through her elaborate handiwork.
Welcome to our our Spring / Summer 2018 Campaign, O, Divina Natura.
Photographer: We Are Studio
Model: Henrika, Nevs Models
Hair and Makeup: Michelle Leandra
Shop the Collection
A range of beautiful fabrics are available for each design, from classic silk twill to our sumptuous signature wool and silk blend. Each piece is printed and hand finished by the renowned artisans of Como, Italy.