November 2, 2010

My Butterfly



Several months ago, my friend Trudi from Two Dresses Studio, put out a call for a very special art project hosted by the Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas. The goal of this worthy project is to collect 1.5 million butterflies - each one a representation of a child who's life was sacrificed during the Holocaust.


 

When I began this project, I approached it as another exercise in creativity . . . a simple art project. Never did I realize the profound effect it would have on my spirit. As each layer was applied, the significance of each symbol left an indelible imprint of sadness and loss. And, when the final bead was strung, I sobbed.


 

How does one reconcile the beauty of a butterfly with such profound sadness? Trudi expressed it beautifully when she said, "It's so terribly bittersweet, so sad and difficult to express the 'joy' of a butterfly with the young innocent lives that didn't have a chance to blossom."




I hand painted deli paper with bright colors to symbolize the beauty and individuality of each child. Numbers were added, as well as a symbolic stamp that represents how the children were restrained. Copper metallic spatters represent the bloodshed. The child in the center is raised, because I truly believe each of these little spirits went to Heaven immediately. She is holding a bouquet of flowers in remembrance. Finally, the moonstone beads strung on fibers represent the tears that were shed as well as hope and love.


I am humbled and honored to participate in this worthy project. If you'd like to participate too, you can click here to read more about it or click on the "Butterfly Effect" button in my sidebar.

May we always remember and never forget.
 
Credits: Thank you to the Graphics Fairy for the top half of the doll body. Thanks also to Tumble Fish Studio - Etsy for the bottom half of the doll body and the crown. All images were hand colored and altered.

41 comments:

"MOI" Freubel said...

With great interest I read your blog Terri. Twice !
It was still in me and for a moment I prayed for all victims.
..............
In the Netherlands we still remember each year the holocaust on may 4.
And every year my husband and I go to this memorial. To remember and NEVER forget....
I admire you that you have joined the call by Trudi.
You are a beautiful person Terri !

Lori Saul said...

A stunning butterfly filled with meaning and love. An art piece that tells a story of despair and yet a vision of rising above. Bravo Terri!

sharon said...

I am working on mine, and you have sent shivers up my spine this evening with your story of beauty and sadness. This, by far, is the most powerful and beautiful piece you have made Terri, and I will carry that spirit in me.

Sue said...

Terri, I can only imagine the intense emotion that you felt while creating this beautiful and poignant piece. Very powerful.

Lynn said...

Dear Terri, When I first saw your butterfly I was simply moved by the beauty of the colors and the textures, the 3D effect/raised portion. When you told us what it represented I sucked in wind, held my breath and "remembered". Thank you for making this incredibly beautiful piece of art for this very important rememberance and for leaving your tears upon it.
Thank you.May all of never forget.

Trudi Sissons - Two Dresses Studio said...

She is magical Terri - and so full of emotion and empathy...it always shines through. Bless you!
When I looked at her and studied the little flowers in her hands and the beautiful moon beads - I think of her in the museum and how much magic and wonder she will bring to her viewers....especially little girls who love to pretend they are fairies. I promise to treat her with TLC during her visit here.

Outstanding Stranger said...

Beautiful butterfly and a lovely way to show remembrance of such a sad time in history. Hugs, Diane

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I really MUST get my butterfly started. However, after seeing yours, I'm not sure I would ever make anything as worthy. I started to cry as you told how the project affected you. Now I'm typing through tears and loving this piece more than you can ever imagine!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

The juxtaposition of your exquisitely beautiful piece of art with the ugliness and horror of the Holocaust is incredibly moving. Thank you for making us all remember, thank you for sharing your incredible talent. Deb

Janny said...

We don't forget and this is such a beautiful way to remeber. I really love your butterfly!

Dorthe said...

Terri
your butterfly, are just fantastic gorgeus,-FANTASTIC....
and the cource so worth taking part in.
Hugs,Dorthe

Ro Bruhn said...

This is gorgeous, such fabulous colours it gives hope to the survivors of such atrocities.

Shashi Nayagam said...

It is a beautiful poignant piece and your have captured the essence of the spirit so beautifully.

LiveArt said...

This is sooo beautiful and touching. A wonderful tribute in memory of those who lost their lives... It's truely moving, and brought tears to my eyes...

Thanks for sharing,
Hugs,
Linda

Healing Woman said...

Terri, your butterfly girl is beautiful beyond words. She definitely is my very favorite piece of art you have ever made. The meaning behind it and the colors you chose are dynamite. Wow..is too small a word.

Palma said...

This is absolutely beautiful. It puts mine to shame!

This is a wonderful project to remember such a tragic event.

~*~Patty S said...

oh Terri
you
have
touched
my
heart
so
tenderly
there
are
no
words
sniff
sniff
BEAUTIFUL!
oxo

Sue@MyArtsDesire said...

Terri,
I love/adore all your work...but this piece is off the charts and your beautifully written post melted my heart and made me cry. I've read it three times now...and each time it takes me to that same place. "powerful" Xo, Sue

Janet Ghio said...

Your butterfly is just beautiful!! What a wonderful project this is.

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

A touching and emotional post as this takes flight.

Diane said...

Terri, the way you expressed this piece is beautiful and makes us remember all of the lost children that we should never forget--Thank You!

Sharon said...

Terri now you have me crying all over again. Your butterfly is so lovely and the thought you put into it. I hope to make more butterflies for this next year. I sent two very early on but would like to make another.

indybev said...

What an incredibly intuitive piece of art, Terri. Your story of its creation made me weep. I'm sure it will be one of the most lovely of all the butterflies!

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

Joy to the ultimate friend! This is sooo full of artistic splendor! What a masterpiece of sweetness! Blessings to you dear.

Diana Evans said...

oh my heavens!!! this is so gorgeous Terri!!! when can I expect her on my doorstep!!! lol...just kidding...I love everything you do!!!

Martina2801 said...

Terri, your butterfly is designed very magical and beautiful and your story has touched me and made me thoughtful and sad. I have high respect for your wonderful artwork!

Oxana said...

She is gorgeous!!!

roc said...

what a beautiful piece of art for a very beautiful project! i'm so proud of your participation....you are a great person.

Netty said...

A gorgeous butterfly Terri with such tender emotion oozing from it. x

Amy said...

really really gorgeous..I can tell you put alot of your heart/art into this piece. I'm so happy you created this piece in honor of those lost.
I love it..I'm happy you participated in this with your art..you are such a good artist!

Marilyn Rock said...

Jaw-droppingly stunning!

Lynn said...

Oh dear Terri, you have me crying just reading about your process and how much love you put into this incredible butterfly.
I think that is why I am having a difficult time finishing mine, it is hard to explain but it hurts.
Blessings my dear friend, you are a blessing too :)

peppapig said...

What an absolutely beautiful butterfly Terri!!
It's gorgeous!!

Jayne :-)

thekathrynwheel said...

This is stunning work Terri, and incredibly meaningful.
Recently in England I went to see an art installation about the Holocaust and it was very moving. School children were asked to collect old buttons and when they had 6 million (one to represent each person who died in the Holocaust) they were artfully displayed.

gypsy said...

I believe then, that this butterfly has achieved the goal of the project, to remember the beautiful souls of the children who were killed in the holocaust. We do remember. A lovely contribution, Terri, thank you for your love and care.

Astrid Maclean said...

Dear Terri, like many of the others I was deeply touched by the beauty of your art piece and the way you described your process. I am really lost for words but I know that what you created will stay with me! I am a strong believer in "Life after Death" and feel certain those souls their on the other side can sense the beauty of your soul and your creation!

Terri said...

I have meet survivors of the Holocaust they were children at the time...but by the time I met them they well up in years. occasionally I would glance at her wrist and the number that is still tattooed on her wrist area...such a quiet strength this one had.
The other was a couple. He would not let her out of his sight. Some may think it was overbearing...but when you know their history...you know it is the residual effect of what he went through.
I think what you have done here is so lovely on so many levels!

Lizbethem said...

This is so very beautiful, Terri. So sad and affecting, too. I think you have truly caught the spirit of those children, who, I'm sure, are smiling down on you.

Cynthia Schelzig,Cynnie said...

What a fantabulous butterfly...amazing creation!!

Elizabeth Golden said...

Never Forget! I love all the thought and energy you have put into this beautiful piece Terri. Words cannot express the beauty and love for mankind, the despair of what man can do to another, in your butterfly. The story will be told through your eyes in this wonder you have created. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

Gaby Bee said...

It is always so much fun to come here and look around! Your butterfly girl is fantastic. She is one my favorite pieces of art you have made. Simply perfect!!!