The last project I did before moving from the states was an installation for Art Whino's G40, called Grace in Full Bloom. Shortly after deinstalling, Grace got packed up in her very own custom box and tucked into our shipping container for the ride across the ocean.
Since landing here in Germany on July 1, she's remained in her box, up to her shoulders in pink packing peanuts, waiting patiently to come out and take her rightful spot in my studio. A couple of weeks ago - box cutter in hand - as I started unpacking her, I stopped mid-cut. It suddenly occurred to me: that's me in that box.
Okay, not really me. But the part of myself that I consider the most sacred and core to who I am. Clearly, we (Grace and I) haven't been ready to come out of our box and settle into this new house. How could we, with all the chaos of the move and challenge of starting over, not to mention a dog bent on destroying anything he deems mine every time I leave the house?
Until that moment, I hadn't been able to put my finger on why I was keeping Grace under wraps. Nearly all of the unpacking was finished, but she remained safely ensconced. Once I realized this, it became very clear for me what to do: I needed to welcome Grace home. But first, I had to create a suitable environment for her.
Last week, I unleashed a swarm of book paper butterflies on my studio. They fly in from our front door, down behind the stairwell, and down to Grace's feet...
Another batch flies up out of a light fixture, across the wall and into our guest bedroom.
A fellow-G40 artist inspired the light fixture idea - he had metal butterflies made from spray paint cans swarming from a light fixture on the first floor.
The butterflies are die-cut from vintage French book texts. I had two copies of Le Mariage de Figaro Tome II, making serendipidous use of black and white photography in the book.