Many afternoons this past summer were spent watching some very hungry caterpillars devour a parsley plant. Once I got over the fact that I would have no fresh parsley, I found their process is quite amazing. I watched them grow from tiny little specks to full grown caterpillars, encase themselves into a chrysalis that so closely matched their surroundings I often had a hard time finding them again, and followed their journey as one or two turned into a beautiful swallowtail butterfly, while the outcome of others was sadly not so grand. Their fate so tenuous and uncertain but each endured to some day fly away… all within a matter of just weeks.

So what does the transformation of a butterfly have to do with statues and those Roman columns from a previous post? It is that things change. While working through this image, there was much going on in the world that had a significant impact on my mood, my outlook, and my image.

In the beginning, the underlying story reflected how things were falling apart, a sense of hopelessness, a loss of control. But as I continued to work on the image …

Something changed… my outlook changed… the caterpillar changed.

So many butterflies means a
whole lot of layers

And just like that, so did the image. The Chrysalis is one of the most technically challenging images I’ve done. Not only did I begin by learning how to make a statue disintegrate, but then I needed to encase a human to stone. The biggest challenge was working backwards with regards to how I create an image. Usually I see a scene and right there and then know the story that is going to fill it. But for this image, the scene was built around the pieces, and like a puzzle, the final story did not reveal itself until most of those pieces were put in place. Creating more from the events of the times and their affect on mood and mindset led to many changes along the way, and the addition of many new pieces to the puzzle.

However we create, the important thing to remember is to continue to work through those frustrations, those moods, and the changes along the way and, eventually, the pieces of the puzzle… the butterfly… will reveal itself.

p.s. This image is one of three that is part of the Transformations exhibition which this year is online. To see this exhibition that is a creative take on photography and the imagination CLICK HERE!

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