My latest work features an otter, or ‘dratsie’ to use its Scottish name.
Otters usually offer help to humans in folk tales by bringing food so are usually considered to be animals symbolising joyfulness, playfulness and happiness. Their Anglo-Saxon name was the ‘water-snake’ and in Celtic folklore they are referred to as ‘water dogs’.
Irish and Scottish highlanders believed that otters had other-wordly powers and that they secretly lived as part of kingdoms, like humans. Their rulers were called ‘otter kings’ and were thought to be accompanied by seven black otters. It was thought that the Otter king’s skin was magical and could protect an entire household from harm, but this came at a price. The person or beast who killed the otter king would die shortly afterwards. Legend says that the few surviving suporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden were all carrying king otter skin to protect them from harm.
This new design will be available as cards and prints at my open studio as part of h.Art from the 10th-18th September. Please see details below.