Friday, March 15, 2013

metamorphosis, phase ll

This project is flying along and i am thrilled with the progress so far.  My last update was after I had cut the 400+ butterflies and sent them off in big yellow envelopes. They went to each advisory group so that each Dana Hall student could write on their butterfly and be part of the piece.  Below is a copy of the email instructions that each advisor received.
the big yellow envelopes holding the butterflies

I must confess I was very anxious Monday night.  I love collaborative projects but there are some pluses and minuses to leading such a project.  A down side is that you have no idea how the participants will respond or contribute.  The up side of a collaborative project is that you have NO idea how the participants are going to respond or contribute!!! :)
the butterflies from the envelopes

Monday night I wondered how the students would react to my instructions and how would my butterflies return to me?!?!? But when i arrived on Tuesday morning I was greeted with pile of inspiring and beautiful butterflies!!! A wonderful snapshot of middle-school and high-school ~ many with inspirational quotes; some with dreams for the future; some with basic everyday desires ~ to pass a test, a good lunch; references to pop culture and the fears and sadnesses ~ spiders, squirrels and missing home.
With such a quantity, I was constantly seeing new and interesting contributions ~ some students expressed themselves with words, some in their native language and some with pictures.  All my anxieties vanished and as the middle school art classes came to help me, the vision of the dress became clearer and clearer. Now how to get there is still a challenge.
one of the desires/dreams that went into a cocoon

some finished cocoons
I have worked with many art classes over the week telling them about my thought behind the dress and sharing the process.  I had the students using india ink to outline each butterfly.  I also asked them to write more thoughts or/and intentions on the dress as a method to create a pattern.  And I also had each student create their own cocoon.  Here they could write a secret or true desire that would be wrapped up and dipped in wax, so that dream or intention could ferment in its safe and sealed cocoon. All of these treasure will be incorporated into and on the dress?!?!?

still needed to personalize the dress - this time I used paint & dye.  I believe my current subscription card obsession might have had something to do with my choice of pattren

dress detail
butterflies after being outlined
cocoons of desires/dreams written on thin pattern paper, rolled and wrapped with different materials then sealed with hot wax
the dress after more writing and painting
these butterflies are soooooo inspiring 
my set-up in the Dana Gallery
Yesterday I decided to painted the veins of a butterfly wing on to the top of the dress with india ink
Here is the instructions that were sent out the morning that the students got their butterflies:

As part of a collaborative project for the Dana Art Gallery, Artist-in-Residence Virginia Fitzgerald has been working with students and invites you to contribute this morning to the creation of a sculptural dress which will be worn in the Spring Fashion Show and exhibited afterwards in the Library. Each advisor group has a packet containing cut paper butterflies and Sharpie markers.  Each student is asked to simply write a word, phrase or short sentence, or simple image reflecting a wish, a dream, an inspiration, a memory, or fear on one of the pieces of paper. This can be written in any language, in any style, on any subject (personal, family, school related, etc.); these should be anonymous and there is no wrong way to express yourself. When finished please return the pieces of paper and markers to the envelope and have a member or the advisory drop them off to the gallery. Thanks so much for you participation. Stop by the gallery throughout the week and after the Break to see how your words and images will be incorporated into the sculpture, or stop by and work with Ms. Fitzgerald directly. All are invited. Thank you for supporting the arts.

and stay tune, much more to come on the project . . .

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