In my blog entry ‘The Butterfly Collector’ (Sept 25th) I found myself grasping at some random thing I have about butterflies. Now I’ve finally found my connection.
It’s taken a little research. I’ve waded through the science, discovered the differences in mimicry types, learned the technical differences between moths and butterflies, and I think I can distinguish between a Vanessa atalanta and an Inachis io. I’ve read the myths and the legends, and waded through the religions and the superstitions. I’ve found that some experts seem to believe that we like butterflies because of their fanciful nature, their colours, their complicated beauty, their metaphor for spirits and fairies. But as I discussed in ‘The Butterfly Collector’, I’ve never had any deep feelings one way or the other for the pretty sweet butterfly.
I know where my connection lies. In my collages I rule over the whimsy and the beauty; there’s a deep-seated need to control the chaos whilst simultaneously respecting its nature. I reduce my original photograph [caterpillar] to a palette of pieces [pupae] which I reassemble as I will to metamorphose into a new collage [butterfly]. I net, embalm, and pin out this new butterfly for the world to see.
This is not a deity complex, but a Darwinian one.