The acanthus is a very old design motif that has been used and developed over centuries.
It takes it’s form in Greek, Roman and Byzantine pillars, fantastic entwined carvings from Norwegian Stave Churches, Romanesque architecture, Medieval illuminated manuscripts, to William Morris wallpaper and fabrics.
I’ve known about the motif historically for donkey’s ages, but when researching, found the real plant called Acanthus. I recognised it – seen it many times in herbaceous borders – but never knew it by name.
Acanthus designs can be heavily stylised, with little relation to their origins sometimes: Maybe this is why I hadn’t made the connection.
Playing with symmetry and collaging coloured acanthus motifs we make the owl design.
Tu-whit tu-whoo.

acanthus_owl_design