Friday, October 20, 2017

What's Inspiring Me Right Now

I was recently in Bournemouth for a few hours, and made a flying visit to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. It's wonderful and amazing and I definitely need to make a return visit, but what I loved most about it was the building itself. It's a rather Gothic looking Edwardian building, with absolutely sumptuous decor.

There are star spangled ceilings, stained glass with OWLS and BATS and MOONS, and even an indoor fountain.

I fell absolutely in love with it and it really seems to have re-awoken my enthusiasm for Edwardian and Victorian design.

I am also totally enamored (and have been for years) with Victorian Gothic Revival buildings and interiors, which share a certain amount of overlap with the decor at the Russell-Cotes. For some of the finest examples of this, I urge you to research William Burgess, art architect extraordinaire, who designed the apartments at Cardiff Castle and the fantastic Castell Coch.

Gothic Revival is all high drama, medieval influences filtered through a very Victorian lens, beautiful craftsmanship, lush colours, shiny gilt, and lots and lots of Gothic arches. I LOVE Gothic arches. Bristol has several really good examples of this style, so I have inspiration right on my doorstep.

Another inspiration I'm lucky to have examples of nearby is the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which perfectly overlaps with the era of Gothic Revival. I love the dreamy women, draped dresses and rich colours of the artwork from this movement.

I was overjoyed to see Rossetti's Vanitas Veritasium at the Russell-Cotes, and at home I made a little visit to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery to see Arthur Hughes' La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Sir Edward Burne-Jones' The Garden Court.

Continuing the 19th century theme, I picked up a second hand book on the Victorian craze for fern collecting a while back, and the illustrations in it are fabulous, filled with ornate Wardian cases and greenery. One of the cases even has a fish tank built into it! True decadence. This has sparked off a bit of an obsession with buying ferns and houseplants, which hopefully I will manage to keep alive.

I'm also feeling drawn to all things witchy. I think I've had Sisters of the Moon on repeat for about three months straight, and I want to surround myself with crystals, potion bottles, long swishy dresses, copper cauldrons and herbs. I've been delighting in the perfect Gothic witch vibes of Nyxturna's instagram account, which is total aesthetic goals.

These influences are colouring what I create at the moment, as well as how I'm choosing to decorate my space. The re-ignition of my love for Gothic Revival actually kicked off a huge clear out and re-shuffle of my flat, in an attempt to get it closer to the witchy Gothic fantasy home I dream of.
To be honest, I'm not sure these are fleeting inspirations, I think they might just be parts of who I am. They crop up again and again over time, and I feel like I'm just uncovering them again after a long time of worrying too much about what I *should* like. Either way, I'm feeling very inspired at the moment and can't wait to get going on some projects!

If you like what I've shared in this post you might also enjoy the Gothic Plant Witch Pinterest board I have started, to tie all these influences together.


  1. So utterly magical! I would love to go there! Or live there!