Our collection represents a long evolution of design and aesthetic. Taking inspiration from the continent of Africa and its rich biodiversity. From Akindra Calabash printing of West Africa to the botanical kingdom of the Southern Cape of Africa. Connecting culture, language, writing and natural world has provided Mantis Prints with a diverse portfolio, reflecting a diverse country and continent. Please scroll at your own leisure to see each unique print in full detail.
The national flower of South Africa. This design was born of a union between free-hand sketching while observing the form of old botanical illustrations in print. Previously a national symbol of beauty, it now has taken the form of a nation reborn. Kingmaker of the fynbos biodome, it remains a popular print a favourite amongst locals and foreigners alike.
Our first botanical print was inspired by the Pincushion protea. It came about by a very spontaneous doodling sketch and the final design is a repeat of 9 individual drawings. The flower is represented from a top down view, allowing the petals to form a crown around the flowering bud. This design proved to be the foundation for further fynbos inspired prints.
The African lily grows only in Southern Africa. Inspired by childhood memories of long road trips, growing on the median strip between two roads. This design borrows again from old botanical illustrations and a child’s fascination with her mother’s garden. This print is a memory; a nostalgia.
A symbiosis exists between the sugarbush and the sunbird. Both needing the other to thrive, so too it’s conceptualisation needed both to bring the design to life. Through many sketches trying to combine them, the final print has a sunbird perched on the sugarbush. This print captures a scene very familiar to the inhabitants of the Southern Cape of Africa.
Equus quagga quagga
An extinct species of Zebra that once roamed the plains of the Cape Foothills of Table Mountain. It’s distinct striped gave inspiration for a layered geometrical pattern. This print is repeated on a white linen fabric that emphasizes its unique hide. A Khoikhoi word for Zebra, Quagga captures the effects of a country that lost its identity through colonialism and human expansion. A history of what might have been.