Water Nymph 99/11
In 2009, when designer, Kerry Goodwin, shocked everyone, including myself, with the arrival of Wood Nymph, Moorcroft art took one huge leap forward. Collectors would never except even an artistic version of the naked female form, we thought. William and Walter Moorcroft would turn in their graves, others muttered nervously. Perhaps that may have been so, but just because something had never been done before, was not, in itself, a reason to justify saying that it could never be done at all. After all, the era of Art Nouveau was a seething mass of sleek female forms. Just ask René Lalique or Eric Knowles! The answer is much more simple. Either William and Walter chose not to portray the naked female form or they did not know how to draw it. I prefer the latter explanation, but it took until 2009 before Moorcroft discovered that it could use the female form in design, and that it could do so in a way which caused no offence whatever. Curiously, it was our gallant and indeed broad-minded retailers who first invested in Wood Nymph. Collectors rapidly followed suit and Moorcroft nudes became part of the rich tapestry of our history.After Oak Nymph (2010), it became inevitable that Kerry would complete her trio of different studies of the female form. My wife and I no longer hold our breath, and for 2012, Water Nymph arrived on cue just in time to square a circle of prejudice and delay. This time, an erotic Art Nouveau water nymph seduces the mind into an alluring water landscape where hues of moss green trickle into deep waters. Curiously the colours are inspired by the darker green version of William Moorcroft’s Hazledene landscape pattern. In context, Water Nymph is a fusion design in which the female form is absorbed supernaturally into the natural world. Kerry had used the same fusion technique in both Wood Nymph and Oak Nymph, and in so doing, lifted the design out of tawdry imagery and into the world of sublime inspiration. When Kerry Goodwin is inspired, nothing will impede her progress. For Moorcroft, she has laid a century-old taboo to rest and has extended our artistic vision in the process. Her sublime Water Nymph is ready to be admired in the Moorcroft Circle of Life.