The Gathering

Elaine Tolsma Harlow's avatar Elaine Tolsma Harlow

Housed in a shadow box, over 50 handmade Eastern Swallowtail Butterflies preside. Each butterfly has been made by individually cutting it from a map of its habitat, and then it has been hand painted in oil paint. Finally, each butterfly was mounted on a painted wooden board. Contemplative yet playful, this work examines and asks questions about our idea of home and community. The Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly is non migratory; it whole existence is within one area. In contrast, the information age has transported us into all corners of the world and allowed the world to be brought into our homes. Good/bad/otherwise how we communicate has changed who is our neighbor. Facebook alone boasts 1 billion members. Where has home gone to? Is it still a place of refuge or have we invited billions of people to come inside? This piece on first glance is lovingly nostalgic, but is it really painful confinement?

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: mixed media
  • Width: 25 inches
  • Year created: 2012
  • Height: 53 inches