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Mercia Vines Wallpaper
The English Mercia collection is Susy Paisley's tribute to one of the greatest conservation parables ever written, The Lorax by Dr Seuss. The species in the design are based on real world English equivalents of the imaginary species that feature in the Lorax story – inhabiting the region of the ancient kingdom of Mercia. The humming fish are represented by great crested newts, the precious truffula trees are clover flowers whilst the playful barballoots are the red squirrels. The bees which also feature in a companion print are short-haired bumblebees – a wonderful conservation success story as they were extinct in the UK but acres of flower-rich meadows were planted in Kent, the bees were reintroduced and are now thriving. Other flowers include several species of clover, Pheasant’s eye. crested cowwheat, Stinking iris, whorled millifoil, Carthusian pinks, Herb Paris, wintergreen and blossoms of a rare old English breed a apple. Companion prints include Mercia Ribbons and Mercia bees, featuring details from this larger scale design.
Mercia Bees is a smaller scale print in the English Mercia collection, with a 6'' horizontal half drop repeat. It features the short-haired bumblebee, a species driven to extinction in England, but recently reintroduced into specially planted flower-rich meadows in the region of Dungeness. The bees are foraging on clover, and pheasant's eye, a rare wildflower introduced to the UK in Roman times.
This pattern shows English species suggested to me by the imaginary species in Dr Suess's The Lorax. It is organised in an ogee pattern, made of ribbons. They remind me of the double helix of the DNA that determines how we all turn out, every living thing, and of chain link fences, and breaking through them to get out into nature. Some of the Lorax creatures, and my English wild equivalents: Humming fish = great crested newts Swomee swans = nightingales for their beautiful song Truffula trees = clover for the shape and English oaks for their ecological role supporting more other species than any other tree Brown barbaloots = at first I used the silhouettes of European brown bears representing their extinction in the British Isles about 1000 years ago, but that was all a bit tragic. Then I decided to replace them with wonderful playful red squirrels in this design Great great grandfather snail = lagoon spire snail (thought extinct, but recently found in Chichester harbour) Smallish bees = short-haired bumblebees, once extinct in the UK but now reintroduced into Kent