Today I’m finishing a book sculpture called Metamorphosis. It’s done on paper I made out of old bills and bank statements. I imagine the papers forming a pupa in the filing box and then bursting out as a new art work. The piece has pictures of plants and butterflies apron it. I was struggling with painting those last night, difficult on recycled paper.

Metamorphosis fascinates me. Biology, in this state, is a very magical thing. What is going on in there to make this big change? Now with new technology we can see inside the pupa and know that the creature entirely breaks down and reforms. To me this makes it seem yet more miraculous.

It is science that thinks it knows everything that irritates me, because we don’t and hopefully never will, for that would take the magic from life. I think we will never know everything because the more we find out the more mystery there is. Science thought the deep oceans couldn’t contain life, turns out they are full of the stuff, science didn’t think trees could communicate with each other, turns out they are constantly “talking” through networks of roots and fungi underground. Such amazing discoveries and the new mysteries they unearth, along with the sheer beauty of, say, a butterfly feeding on a tiny blue flower, are what allow me to love life even when politics makes it seem grim, and my bank statements make me cry.

According to Maya Deren’s book I’m reading on Voodoo, 1+1 does not equal 2.


This is because you need the 2 ingredients and then you need the catalyst to get it going. The magic. I think it is common to make the mistake of taking things apart to find out how they work and then assuming that’s it, it is just the pieces. As I remember my Nan saying to me when I was little “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

I tried to get the blue colour for the flowers by oxidising copper in a jar of vinegar (as instructed in a beautiful book given to me) but so far no luck. I must be lacking a bit of something…

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