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.
The botanical and zoological adventures of Alfred Swift.
As a botanical and zoological artist, Alfred Swift is fascinated by the natural world. Growing up in rural, 19th century Holland, he was a quiet child, often alone with his sketchbook or dissecting plant and fruit specimens through a magnifying glass. Now a young scholar, Alfred works as a researcher for the university. His quiet daily life consists of cataloguing and catergorising small insect species and illustrating taxidermied creatures for the university’s historical zoological records. However, on June 26th 1839, Alfred’s life is thrown in a very different direction.
Magnus Finch, the university’s most esteemed explorer and researcher has, unfortunately, been eaten by a bear during his travels through North America. The problem remains that the southern states have not yet been catalogued, and as the only other researcher in the department, Alfred is swept onto a ship and sent on his way.
Two months later, and following a long and arduous journey over sea and land, Alfred finds himself in rural Alabama where he is to begin his studies. Accustomed to his usual organised workspace and stationary subjects, he is understandably alarmed when his first drawing of a fruit tree is rudely interrupted by a sounder of wild boar stampeding through the copse. Likewise, as he attempts to fill his flask from a nearby stream, he is confronted by an angry deer, or when leaping in the fields with his butterfly net, a hawk takes a fancy to his precious catch. These were just the first of many precarious encounters; his primary lessons in the beauty, power and danger found in the wilderness.
Over the next 4 years, Alfred travels alone on foot through several states, and catalogues the species he encounters as best he can. He discovers rare and exotic fruits, brushes with death on several occasions, and comes face to face with magnificent and ferocious beasts. Here, we are lucky enough to read excerpts and view sketches from his handbook, compiled throughout his adventure.
This collection references Victorian zoological and botanical illustrators such as John James Audubon, Maria Sibylla Merian and Albertus Seba, along with the courageous explorers who ventured into unknown lands in the hope of discovering new and exotic species. The collection also focuses on the Fraktur folk art movement in 19th century America; a movement started by Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania in the late 1700’s.
Below you can find images of the illustrations in progress.