Thursday, 21 April 2011


Continuing on my theme of the 'Extraordinary vs the Ordinary' project I have moved on to the topic of 'Butterflies vs Fairies.' As with the previous horses section of my project I aim to create a parallel between butterflies and fairies in my planned final film in the hope of planting the seed of the idea that we have beautiful things such as butterflies in our 'real' world so why do we need to fantasise about fairies. Although, I am open to the idea that fairies exist...
I knew that I wanted to create the butterflies with paper, as paper has always been an integral part of my work after doing a week long paper cutting tutorial with Lu Shenzhong last year. I therefore began by looking at different ways of creating the butterfly, that would be most convenient for what I wanted. I did this through a basic cutout shape, a paper cut pattern, a burnt pattern, a wax resist and watercolour patter and an icing pen drawn pattern.

As the idea began to develop I realised the most effective transition between butterflies and fairies was if I was to have a 'flutter' of butterflies. Because of this, I decided the easier way to create a mass of butterflies was to go have a simple cutout. This would also make a mass of butterflies more easily distinguishable without being to busy with lots of cut/burnt parts. From this point on I set about cutting lots of the same butterfly shape and then stringing the ends together to create a 'curtain' which would eventually be used to create a flutter.
After my previous puppet research I had decided that these cutouts would work as a shadow puppet part of the film so that the shadows can merge with that of the fairies which I think would create quite a magical mystical effect which is appropriate for the subject matter. To practice this I photogrpahed the flutter of butterflies with a spotlight, testing how I could manipulate the shadows.

I was pleased with the results and so I will develop this thread for my film later on in the project. As a side note in this particular part of the project I was also intrigued by the shape of the butterfly cutout and I wanted to make it look more lifelike. I have a habit of keeping small green beer bottles and when I saw these on my shelf I decided to create a piece that had small butterflies trapped in the bottle. This was just a small development in the project and I created it using invisible thread and paper butterflies.

Table review
At this term's Table Review I showed my butterfly experiments, the flutter and a set of jars. The butterflies in jars seemed to get the most enthusiastic response with people liking the delicacy of the pieces and although I cannot think of a way to incorporate this into the overall 'Extraordinary vs Ordinary' pproject it is definitely an idea I am going to continue to develop in it's own right.

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