The Beat of the Butterflies' Wings has been devised by Jill Impey, Artist in Film, Photography and installation; director of Participate Contemporary Artspace CIC, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and a member of re:collect, a contemporary artists group working in a heritage context.
Her practice focuses on exploring the role of the artist revealing truths, through notions of shifting borders, boundaries and thresholds; Drawing on personal experience of displacement across the north /south as well as east and west divides of England, her investigations into the formation of human identity, reference place, culture, heritage and migration.
This Project considers the 100 years of British involvement in conflict since the First World War: the war to end all wars. It has developed through a series of workshops in venues including Age UK day centres, Primary Schools and Colleges. The workshops, with participants aged 10 to 20 years and 65+, have been based on artist led interactions with The Cabinet of Curiosity and involved song, investigation of contemporary art works and memorabilia, performance, printmaking and mindful making of origami butterflies. The workshops culminated in sound recordings of the stories and experiences of losses and division, as well as expressions of hope for peaceful resolutions to conflict, and sharing of advice between generations.
Subsequent curation workshops brought together a group of older and younger participants with an age range of 10-90 years. This group selected objects for exhibition in community vitrines, at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, from the Museum Archive at Ludlow. Participants chose to theme them: Home Front, Protection, Weapons, Division & Unity. The group then used printmaking to illustrate the themes, explored associated ideas through text, and provided personal heritage items to add resonance to the display.
Artists involved in the Workshops: Keith Ashford, Jacqui Dodds, Julie Edwards, Eliza Glapinska, Jill Impey
The Beat of the Butterflies wings is now available as a live interactive touring installation/performance, change making and resonating through slight and subtle acts.
The installation includes:
Prism, Jill Impey, 2016, Empire Chandelier with origami butterflies
War & Peace, Jill Impey, 2016, sound installation
The Cabinet of Curiosity, re:collect, 2014 Curated by Jill Impey, 2016
The 1930's themed Cabinet of Curiosity offers us a return to the natural world, in a time of uncertainty, then as now. By stimulating of all our senses, it slows down the passing of time and permits reflection upon it's treasures, and captures for a moment, the beat of the butterflies' wings.
With artworks, commissioned for this project, by
Keith Ashford; Spitfire, cast aluminium; Wing, balsa wood and tissue paper.
Julie Edwards; Boat, wire and found objects.
Sue Challis; Before the War, After the War, tape measures, text.
Jill Impey; The Somme, film with birdsong; The Beat of the Butterflies' Wings, silent film; Listen to the Birds, drypoint etchings with text; Peregrine Design, Art Deco plates with text.
Anita Wyatt; Carrier Soldier, Horse Soldier, graphite drawings.
Supporting Organisations: Arts Council England, Age UK; Arts for Health, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare, The Redwoods Centre; Coleham Primary School; Participate Contemporary Artspace CIC; Shrewsbury College; Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery; Ludlow Museum Archive; Shropshire Council.