Transient Beauty: Life's Fragility in Underwater Butterfly Art

Transient Beauty: Life's Fragility in Underwater Butterfly Art

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The butterfly is widely significant in different cultures; symbolising love, regeneration, fortune, freedom, spirituality and death. The connection Greek Mythology draws between butterflies and the souls of those who have passed away is of particular interest to me. 'Swarm' explores these subject in hyper-real and painterly aesthetic prisms which are created through the light from the water's wave energy interacting with the scene.  


I breed these remarkable creatures myself and through this process a strong dialogue becomes apparent. This delicate creature undergoes an epic transition - unquestioningly embracing both her body and changing environment - expending energy on a huge scale to make it happen. It is as if she thereby asks us to accept the changes in our lives as abidingly as she does. 


Imagining the whole of your life changing to such an extreme that you are unrecognisable at the end offers great hope to me. 'Swarm' explores these themes through the introduction of water, believing that drawing on water's transient and destructive nature exposes the fragility of life and the temporary nature of our existence since it acts as both nurturer and destroyer; having the power to cleanse and reinvent or to drown and disappear.


For me, this ‘Swarm’ series acts as a reflection on life and mortality and how it is fleeting, beautiful and ultimately, tragic.


Each plate is shot on 5 x 4 or 8 x 10 inch transparency film, and are scanned at very high resolution, these work can easily scale to billboard sizes without any signs of grain showing.


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