Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Why cabinet of curiosity ?

I started a new piece of work today using the kind of materials I used back in the 1980's.

We use recycled wood for our wood burner - and I found some offcuts which lend themselves to being used for collage/relief work.

I had found a butterfly caught on the front of the car a few weeks back - I knew it was a skipper of some kind - I identified it as a large skipper. I felt immensely sad about the demise of this small but beautiful butterfly.

Today I made a painting of the butterfly on a fragment of plaster, then arranged and rearranged the wood within the frame until plaster, wood and background formed a kind of balance.

The composition and fossil-like butterfly painting reminded me of those sad lines of butterflies pinned in museum cabinets - I was fascinated as a child by the collections in Swansea and Cardiff museums. Many of the butterflies in those collections were once common - now they are a much rarer sight.

Then this came to my mind :

Cabinet of curiosity

This species of butterfly may become locked in cabinets
And dusty.

We only see them fleetingly
Soon forgotten.
We take photographs
But we squash and spray their progeny
We cut down grasses
And woodland.

We are curious creatures
We worry about many things
Yet remain blind to the most precious visitations
Until we see them no more and our eyes are suddenly opened.


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