Dragonflies: a source of inspiration in fashion and arts

Dragonflies are fascinating creatures to watch, and you need not go far to see them. They have been found in numerous art works. Throughout history, dragonflies have provided inspiration for artists and poets – generally considered to be a positive figure, even though in Europe during the middle ages, the dragonfly was often associated with the devil! The oldest art depicting dragonflies comes from Middle Kingdom Egypt, about 4,000 years ago.

During the Art Nouveau Era, they captured the imagination of numerous artists.

Is it because of their fantastic transparent and iridescent wings with their incredible structure and almost engineered lattice framework?  Or is it the beautiful metallic colourings on the thorax?  Or is it their magical ability to transcend from one life to another, escaping the aquatic realms of their larval past to make their ascension to the sky?

Art Nouveau, with its wonderful flowing lines and hidden fantasies, was a movement full of symbolism.  The movement was a response to the profound social changes and industrialization of every day life and the. Does this situation remind you something? 😊

Art Nouveau jewellers borrowed these images of butterflies and dragonflies from Japanese art.  They would use the most exquisite enamel, a material that emulated the transparent features of an insect’s wing.  Gaudi’s fantastic Art Nouveau entrance was inspired by the butterfly wing.

The Dragonfly even inspired Walt Disney! In the Rescuers, Evinrude is an amazing character, that owns the fastest boat in the Bayou.

So as to understand the fascination for dragonflies throughout the ages, let’s have a look at the symbolism associated to it.

Symbolism of dragonflies

As a creature associated with the wind, the dragonfly represents change. Its delicate wings can note even the weakest breath of wind, which can lead us to follow the popular advice “go where the wind takes you” (unless, of course, it is a storm).

Dragonflies are also water creatures and, like all creatures whose habitat is a water or near-water area, they are linked to a whole symbolism associated with the subconscious, dreams or thoughts. This is because, in the animal world, water is the symbol of the subconscious mind and is therefore linked to the thoughts that come to our minds when we are in a state of unconsciousness, relaxed, sleeping or meditating.

Some of the meanings that are attributed to this insect are: prosperity, luck, strength, peace, harmony and purity.

The meaning of this symbolism is particularly associated with Asian cultures (and, most importantly, Japan) and native North American cultures. The dragonflies give us a message: confronting our deepest feelings can be difficult, but we must look within ourselves and see what our deepest desires are, the ones we are sometimes unaware of.

Another key element that we can discover through dragonflies is what they teach us if we observe the way they move, especially when they fly over the surface of the water. This implies that our deepest thoughts also have a surface: we need to be aware that we must, first of all, face what is on the surface and then approach deeper thoughts.

As we mentioned before, the dragonfly reminds us that when our deepest thoughts surface, we must pay attention to them. This is a lesson we must learn from them and it also reminds us that what we think is directly proportional to what we see on the surface. In short, our thoughts (and even thoughts that are deeper than we are aware of) are responsible for the meaning of our lives.

This insect also offers us a very powerful meditation tool. We need to be able to visualize things in a positive way and to see the bright side of things. Dragonflies have a very short life and this reminds us to live to the maximum, which is a great idea: we must live to the maximum, because life is short…

Fly high with dragonflies and BD

The dragonfly inspires within BD collection love for life and freedom. There are no limits to our dreams.