One day this winter, while looking through a stack of various library books I'd brought home, I came across this paragraph on the life of the caterpillar:
"The caterpillar, now encased in a hard outer shell (the chrysalis), becomes a pupa - seemingly lifeless and inert. But inside the hard outer shell, an amazing transformation is taking place. The tissues and structures of the caterpillar are being broken down and replaced with the tissues and structures of the adult butterfly. If development is proceeding straight through, this process usually takes one or two weeks. Or the pupa may enter a resting state for a few months, or for the winter."*
This reminded me so strongly of the incredible transformations we as humans go through, from birth to death: growing and changing in our bodies and then, finally, in adulthood, experiencing inner changes that can shift the very matter of our abilities, perspective, and being. Just as with the different types of caterpillars, this occurs in different speeds of change for people, too. My work for this show uses symbols, like that of the butterfly, in conjunction with materials and poems that reflect our changing, and yet familiar, inner worlds.
*Butterflies of North America, by Jeffrey Glassberg