Objects of Desire
In the first of an occasional series (as they say), our intern Eero Martin contemplates his Object of Desire, the Sarabande death's-head moth pin.
The death's-head hawkmoth pin, an eerie masterpiece by Benjamin Hawkins, was designed to raise funds for Sarabande Foundation, which was established in 2012 by Lee McQueen and named after his marvellous SS07 show. The foundation was set up to support new designers, artists and craftspeople, and form a community of ruthless creatives.
Surely no insect is more symbolic than the death's-head moth. They have mystified the creative world for centuries and are easily recognised by the hauntingly beautiful skull-like pattern that lies upon their thorax. They have carried myths throughout history, and are often associated with evil and seen as harbingers of doom. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, the death's-head moth is the preferred culinary treat of R. M. Renfield, the famous 'zoophagous maniac'. And it was even rumoured to be a tormentor of the notoriously unstable King George III, who was thrown into one of his infamous bouts of 'madness' when two large moths were discovered in his bedroom in his residence in Kew, London in 1801.
For McQueen. the death's-head moth correlated perfectly with his perception of fashion, harbouring destruction and turning madness into beauty. It inspired him massively, and he carefully embedded its story and impact in his work. Hawkins' creation reminds us of the allure of the unconventional, and that beauty often emerges from the most unexpected places in both nature and art.