My Metamorphosis Project began over a year ago as an art installation using recycled art to make hundreds of paper butterflies that would be suspended with a wall-hung backdrop of glow monotypes. I painted the top of the butterflies black to represent their possible extinction. I was also working on a series of monotypes inspired by seeing millions of Caper White Butterflies on a recent trip to East Africa.
Three hundred butterflies later, the Covid 19 pandemic began, and I shifted my creative energy to sewing non-medical face masks which I gave away as a memorial to my mother whose vintage Singer sewing machine I was using. At my daughter’s suggestion, I began to print the fabric using butterfly stamps I carved. Butterflies represent hope and rebirth in many cultures. The mask-making became part of the Metamorphosis Project; butterflies and humans, both in peril.
After making and distributing almost 500 masks using fabric and thread accumulated over many years, I found in my bottomless trunk some special fabric, silk leftover from making liturgical vestments, fine cotton remnants from the dress I’d made for my grade 9 graduation and other treasures like glass beads and embroidery cotton.
I started making one-of-a-kind masks, art masks, so people could wear masks that were not only functional but beautiful, a symbol of hope and optimism.