Monday, 3 November 2014

Research project topic - Butterflies


I have selected the theme of Butterflies for my research topic. My initial ideas have been collated by brainstorming and producing a spider-diagram in my sketchbook. See below.



I believe there is a lot do scope within this subject area when one considers the beautiful colours and patterns found on the wings of Butterflies and the silhouette of their shape. I will also consider their habitat and the nature of their being; including their polymorphasism - the fact that they are actually two distinct species with one, their aposematism - the use of their colouration and marking to war other animals of their danger to them and their mimicry - their similarity to another species to offer protection to one or both.

I find Butterflies fascinating for many reasons but I am particularly drawn to the spiritual essence which has been assigned to them throughout the ages. I would like my project to embrace this aspect of the way Butterflies are represented.

Butterflies are treated as symbols of the resurrection within the Christian faith, perhaps because of their metamorphosis through the four distinct phases of their life; egg, larvae/caterpillar, pupa (chrysalis) and finally adult Butterfly. However, this is not the only evidence we see of the fascination with this beautiful insect. We can look to Greek mythology for another example. Psyche, is represented by a butterfly, she is the God who shared a mutual and everlasting love with Eros.

Below - Damien Hurst - I am become Death - Shatterer of the worlds 2006.


I would also like to consider the way Butterflies are represented in art, from the earliest examples like the Egyptian tomb paintings 1350 BC to the current work of Damien Hurst who caused outrage when his installation at the Tate Gallery reputedly involved the death of 9000 butterflies.

Whenever I think of Butterflies I hear the Dolly Parton song 'Love is like a butterfly' in my head, and I think she is quite right when she says that they are, like love, 'a rare and gentle thing.'

During the course of my research project I will endeavor to find out why they are so special to me, and I will try very hard to ensure that the design work and finished projects remain true to the essence of these beautiful creatures.



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