A friend of mine on instagram linked me to My Soul Design as she thought I’d appreciate her work – an understatement! Shop owner Natalia makes some of the most bizarre and unusual textile and sculpture designs I’ve encountered and I instantly fell in love with the originality.
Natalia’s sculptures range from spiders, insects, lepidoptera, fungi and birds – her attention to detail in the anatomical structure of these creatures is stunning but I also enjoy the fact that although you can discern what some of her sculptures are, they do not look like their real-life inspiration. Rather – they look strange and almost sinister. Her sculptures of owls, for example, are undeniably owls – but they’re not owls as we’d expect them to look.
My personal favourites were her spiders – intimidatingly large and the stuff of nightmares for some. I love the bulbous body and the carefully positioned legs.
Her fungi designs were also a personal favourite – I love that she doesn’t just do fungi on its own but also delves into the morbidity of fungi; sprouting from the bodies of dead insects and arachnids, as fungi does in nature. For those of you unfamiliar with this – there is an insect-pathogenising fungi known loosely as the “Zombie Fungus” which infects ants and completely alters their behaviour. Infected hosts will leave their canopy nests to venture for the forest floor, where temperature and humidity is more suitable for fungal growth. The ant will then attach itself to a leaf with it’s mandibles until its death and the fungi itself with sprout from the brain and release spores so the whole cycle can repeat. I love the dark and sinister side of nature and I find the concept of Zombie fungi fascinating and I love that Nathalia’s art reminded me of this sinister fungus. I also couldn’t help but admire her use of colour in the sculpture below – the spider is white, as if drained and the fungi an ominous black.
I loved the attention to detail on her fungi sculptures – even going so far as to include the delicate little gills, vibrant colours and almost looking like real botanical specimens.
Her shop has a wide range of variety and a definite must for any fungi/arachnid/insect/sinister owl enthusiast wanting some unusual art for their home.