Butterflies, a photo-realistic painting,  on canvas by Bridget Orlando, London 2005.
The inspiration for this painting came from an early twentieth century collection of butterflies from all over the world mounted with pins in boxes. Bridget became fascinated by the ephemeral beauty and fragility of butterflies, the intricacies of their patterned wings which require close scrutiny. On a large scale they become a blaze of colour and texture, easily seen from a distance. They have a  surreal element of something being larger than it should be, like a scene from Gullivers Travels.
Historically the butterfly is an emblem of the soul and of the unconscious attraction towards the light , a symbol of rebirth, and in China of joy and conjugal bliss.
Collections like these hark back to another era, when men endeavoured to conquer and categorise nature. They might seem quite brutal by today's standards, but were indicative of an empirical philosophy of the time. A painting however allows the observer to enjoy them without the morbidity of pins.
From a technical point of view there is the challenge of taking something very small and make it work on a larger size. Like pop artists she is taking  everyday objects presenting them in an unexpected way.

Width 122 cm
Height 95 cm


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