Heart shapes in nature abound. The shape of the heart has a deep meaning in almost every culture and whenever one finds a shape reminiscent of the classical shape of heart shape, it provides a little extra beat of excitement.
I have collected such gems over the years and present some in the following blog.
History of the Heart Shape and Implications in our Culture
The collage reveals the symbols that contributed to the shape of the heart icon as we know it. Elements from anatomy of animals that were exposed during sacrifice, from botany with leaves and seeds that reflected similar emotional connections as the heart, and elements of human anatomy associated with attraction, love and romance combined to result in the shape of the icon of the heart as we know it.
Adapted and modified from public domain photograph by Frank Eugene, taken 1898, called Adam and Eve and published in Camera Work no. 30,1910
The Heart Shape in the Skies
Found a cloud in the sky that said it all… or at least some of it…heaven’s heart. The art piece is a photograph that reflects all good things about the heart; its place in the heavens, prayer, love, truth, beauty, honesty, and compassion. The artistic element reflects a window for two way of love and admiration; from the heavens to humankind and mankind to the heavens.
Heart Shapes in the Leaves
The heart shaped leaf of the Linden tree is derived from a photograph taken in Bergen Norway. The leaf had fallen on a transparent roof and a few drops of water were trapped on its surface. It reminded me of a tearful end of a romance with tears caught in the heart of the saddened lover.
The heart shaped Canarian ivy leaf is from a vine. In the art piece the dark green has been lightened to give a freshness to the leaf which is surrounded by a heart shape colored in purple
The art piece shows a heart-shaped leaf with two beautiful variations of green. The dark green veins of the leaf are in distinct contrast to the paler green background, creating both complexity to the appearance, and giving us insight into its transport systems. The caladium plant in its many forms has a intensely colored heart shaped and colorful varieties leaf. It belongs to a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae originating in South America. Almost 1000 variations of the original plant now exist. Other names include “Angel Wings”, “Heart of Jesus”, and “elephant ear”
The art piece shows the heart-shaped leaf partially illuminated, with an almost mysterious feel of a dark background. The leaf of the sweet potato vine arises from a versatile plants around, which grows in sun the sun or shade, in containers, or garden beds. The plant shown here is a bright green or chartreuse. The beauty of the plant derives not only from the color of the foliage, its flowing nature but also of course the shape of its leaf
The art piece shows the heart-shaped leaf with unusual black color. The purple veins of the leaf are difficult to see since they are of a similarly dark color. The leaf of the Colocasia “Black Coral” Elephant Ear plant is similar to leaf of the Coladium plant whose members are also named elephant ears because of the shape. The leaves can be very large, and are between 8 and 60 inches long.
The heart shaped leaf of the Hosta plant is surrounded by a yin yang swirl of green. The Hosta plant (aka plantain lilies (Britain) giboshi (Japan) is known for its hardiness and the fact that it thrives in the shade. There are as many as 45 species with foliage of varying sized leaves and shades of green. Yin Yang relates to a Chinese philosophy that uses opposite forces to bring unity and solidarity. These opposite forces abound. In the context of love it reflects opposite sexes that come together in reproduction of a new single being. Other examples include night and day, dark and light, fire and water, or positive and negative forces.
Heart Shapes in Flowers Fruits and Seeds
The Chinese Lantern flower depending on perspective is also heart shaped – . The dried flower reveals a delicate capillary like infrastructure and therefore even more fitting for Valentine’s day. The delicate flower enfolds and defends a barely appreciated, delicate fruit buried within its husk. The need to protect the fruit of its loins manifests motherly and fatherly love!The herbaceous perennial plant physalis alkekengi enfold and defend the small, delicate fruit buried within their husks, they may be the perfect symbol for protection. Their fiery orange red hue denotes a passion for life, amiability, endurance and vitality.
The male and female components occur on the same tree. Imagine the two seeds born out of love between the male and female flowers that occur on the same tree (monoecious species) in a pod that is heart shaped. The image reflects the heart shaped husk with seeds likely removed by squirrels who tore into the heart out of the heart shaped pod – how cruel nature can sometimes be? – But squirrels will travel miles, will dig dig deep to retrieve the glorious tasty reward for their tenacious effort. (Acknowledgement Dr Edward Fisher MD Cardiologist)
The pod is lantern shaped reminiscent of the the Chinese lantern flower, and Cape Gooseberry and is about 5cms long and 3cm wide and starts as a green to yellow color and becomes orange to pink in the fall. The black seeds are 5-8mms in diameter. (Acknowledgement Dr Edward Fisher MD Cardiologist)
The art piece shows the inverted pod surrounded by the more rotund yellow shape of a heart. The orange fruit peeks out through a defect in the husk. The French name Amour en Cage (love in a cage) is the most appropriate and romantic term for the fruit!
Heart Shapes that Tell a Story Through the Natural Elements
The bleeding heart (aka Lamprocapnos spectabilis, Asian bleeding-heart, Dutchman’s breeches, lyre flower and lady-in-a-bath) belongs to the poppy family Papaveraceae, and is found in China, Japan, Korea and Siberia. It flowers in the early spring with a pink or white flower and is one of the earlier joys of the spring. It tells a sad story as it opens its heart and pours out its white tears. The shape is quite unique.
Rock Lovers Rock shows a pair of heart shaped rocks in a background of sensuous and gentle curves of surrounding rock formation. Despite the solid and hard nature of the stone and the almost heartless assigned character, the art piece provides a soft and romantic side to the usually lifeless stone.
The male and female components occur on the same tree. Imagine the two seeds born out of love between the male and female flowers that occur on the same tree (monoecious species) in a pod that is heart shaped. The image reflects the heart shaped husk with seeds likely removed by squirrels who tore into the heart out of the heart shaped pod – how cruel nature can sometimes be? – But squirrels will travel miles, will dig dig deep to retrieve the glorious tasty reward for their tenacious effort.
The art portrays that part of the heart has been lost – but also infers that that all is not lost and there is still a lot of love to give. The color is sombre, and results in a melancholic mood.
The art piece shows two heart-shaped leaves (left) of a Linden tree in Norway at lovers’ odds, with tears streaming down their bodies, a bleeding heart (say no more) and the worst – a black leaf – who has totally given up on love. The whole image reminds me of a “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. The thing about romance is that more often than not, it does not reflect basic love. Love of a child, parent, spouse friend, or animal has a deeper, more meaningful and more basic element of humanity and compassion that is open to all. Romance is sometimes a closed club.
The heart shaped anthurium flower (aka flamingo flower, and laceleaf) originates in the Americas including northern Mexico and northern Argentina but also in the Caribbean. In this art piece the flower looks droopy and exhausted after a long day of romance
The chest with ribs, heart and lungs are created using fruit. The lungs are grapes, the pulmonary arteries – carrots, the ribs a banana peel and the heart is a red pepper.
It may take a moment to see the face of labrador with the heart of the chest projected as his mouth and his two black eyes on either side of his cervical spine! Once you appreciate the eyes – the rest will fall into place
And so ends our story.