Wednesday 6 October 2021

Florence Road: Butterfly Wall

As with the Kingston Road painting (here) I had a pretty clear idea of what image I wanted to represent my home when I moved back to the town of Bray from rural Kerry in 1996. Prior to giving all the walls a makeover paint job before moving in, I was horrified to find the stairwell was home to dormant but still living butterflies. My fear of butterflies comes from many years of seeming to be a target for both swarms and singular colourful insects in Toronto as they dive-bombed my curly head. My husband carefully collected the butterflies and set them free - once outside they shook off their stasis. So creating this painting was a bit cathartic for me and I am happy with the resulting overall image of rebirth. I started the painting at the end of August with composition outlines.

Finding images of 1950s style wallpaper was simple enough, I just had to choose something that suited my memory. At first I thought of using images of Monarch butterflies, but these were a type of butterfly that were more common to my childhood in Toronto. Here in Ireland it is the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly that is very common and I expect that that was the likeliest species that I found on the stairwell wall of Florence Road.

While I set about making each buttefly unique I also wanted them to obviously be the same type.

I gave enough three dimensionality to the bannister railing to make it visually stand in front of the butterfly wall.

Florence Road: Butterfly Wall; acrylic on pressed cloth; 60 cm x 75 cm; 2021

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