HAMLET Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?
POLONIUS By th’mass, and ‘tis like a camel indeed.
HAMLET Methinks it is like a weasel.
POLONIUS It is backed like a weasel.
HAMLET Or like a whale.
POLONIUS Very like a whale.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene II
The symbol defines “the cloud”: the chosen image reconnects us with the secret richness of both the reality and the myth, bringing opposites back together again. As Calvino reminded us, “the power of symbols” is “that once seen they can never be forgotten or confused” (Invisible Cities of Italo Calvino).
The symbol is a convenient synthesis of sense and sign, or small jewel-case which can reveal (or open us up to) important meanings: “Symbols make us think” according to Paul Ricoeur. In my work I have created symbols in the form of silhouettes on themes which include medicine, fauna, botany, the climate and bibliography … To design a logo, icon or emblem, is always a challenge.