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butterflymain butterflybacks

I recently got this piece back from the gallery exhibit where it’s lived for the better part of a year, and it feels like reconnecting with an old friend. I think every piece of art captures a place in time, a version of the artist and her thoughts and feelings. Regardless of whether art is intentionally autobiographical, it is inherently personal. In this case, it’s both.

This artwork was inspired by a challenge from Brevard Art Museum to transform an ordinary white Chinese take-out box into a piece of art. At the time, I was just beginning to understand that serious illness had changed me, but also that those changes could lead to something beautiful. The butterflies are watercolor versions of the blue morpho taking off in flight. The lettering on the back of each butterfly reads What the caterpillar perceives as the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.

The take-out box is covered in handmade silk paper and silk fibers, and the stem is made of paper-wrapped wire and beads. The inside of the “chrysalis” is layered with ecru raw silk rods and glass seed beads in shades of purple and green. This piece uses a lot of my favorite media — paper, textiles, glass beads, and watercolor — and speaks to a lot of what art means to me.