Artists have long been inspired by animals and the natural world – this bronze wildlife sculpture by https://www.gillparker.com/ is a beautiful representation of the animal kingdom. But all over the world, artists have been creating art inspired by animals for thousands of years.
One of the first cultures to do this were the ancient Celts and Druids. These were the native people who inhabited England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales before the Romans arrived, and their culture and religion revolved around nature and the cycles of the seasons, as well as the moon and stars.
These people created the incredible Stonehenge, as well as many other monuments, and their lives closely revolved around the wheel of the year. So when it comes to the art that they created, it is of course strongly influenced by the natural world.
Many of the animals that the ancient Celtic people were influenced by were also believed to have a strong connection to Gods and Goddesses, as well as the spirit world – for example the deer were highly symbolic of the Goddess and the other worlds, as well as the woodland spirits and the fae. Birds were symbolic of transitions and the bridge between life and death, and salmon were strongly associated with knowledge and wisdom – it is said to have eaten nuts from a Hazel tree known as the tree of knowledge and was therefore gifted with great wisdom.