The flower of the bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) is shaped as an idea of what a female bee would look like to a male bee. However most of these orchids are now self pollinating because the bee population that used to pollinate them has now died out. The flower is now a memory of an extinct bee, the image of which is nature's own vanitas painting, a momento mori for an easily forgotten small event. The art of memory being something that is perhaps not just the preserve of humans.
In recent posts I have begun to reframe drawing as something that is as much the provenance of nature as of human beings, and in this case we have a drawing of a bee shape that could have taken millions of years to produce. Millions of small touches or marks are made as one flower received more visits than another from a certain bee, until the day when one particular orchid had the perfect flower to attract a male bee and so became the template for many more to follow.
Rudolf Steiner: drawing done during bee lecture
by Gerald Davies use speculative thinking about global warming and rising sea levels, to imagine environments of the future. Davies' drawings are like blueprints for the future, in them towns and cities are smashed and flooded, the details of devastation prevail, his drawings operating as some form of archaeological map for future fossil hunters, whatever species they may be.
Davies is very aware of what possible futures we may be setting up for ourselves and his drawings reflect this. The Earth will though be making its own drawings of the events and as it does, hopefully it will still include us in the picture.
For a much more in-depth article on the work of Gerald Davies click this link
For more Steiner drawings
Kate Raworth's Donut economics (including the power of drawing to visualise what is happening)