The Butterfly Quilt
Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? The notion that small changes in nature can have huge consequences? While this theory was developed over 60 years ago by a meteorology professor named Edward Norton Lorenz from MIT, it has gained broader relevance today as we witness increasingly dramatic responses from the sensitivities of our changing climate.
While Lorenz’ early insights laid important groundwork in bringing greater predictability to large systems such as weather, population biology and the global spread of disease, he also noted that “if the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, it can equally well be instrumental in preventing a tornado.” This had me thinking about my observations in nature earlier in the pandemic when the world seemed to slow down. The buzzing of the bees seemed louder, the smells of the flowers more intense, the air seemed cleaner. Was this a positive butterfly effect from so many changes happening in the world around us? Have we the capacity to bring order from chaos?
While the hundreds of billions of disposal plastic masks the world has used during this pandemic are estimated to be with us for more than 450 years, I wanted to create an awareness with this butterfly quilt of the heightened environmental sensitivities we live with today. And hopefully, create an awareness that all of us have the opportunity to make small changes in our lives that will have larger positive consequences in the future for our children.
As an artist, this butterfly symbolized the emergence of a new sense of purpose taking flight.
A special thank you to Quincey Erin Cable for stitching my design together.