These “Day of the Dead” celebrations are distinguished by their colourful and festive approach to mortality and again Campos-Pons took great inspiration from traditional Mexican floral decorations. Combining the themes of the butterflies and the vibrant colours of the festivities the artist began to mediate on a way in which she could extrapolate on the mythology of the butterfly and its dramatic transformation from caterpillar through pupation to hatching and rebirth. Ideas of immortality and resurrection abound with the moving shifting physicality of the architecture of the hanging sculptures enhancing a senes of eternal transformative beauty. Though the individual glass sculptures used to built the mobiles are taken from the abstract patterns of butterfly wings several have also been made to be reminiscent of tears, reflecting the idea of mourning and the Nazar amulet (the “blue eye”) that in Arabic stands for sight, vision and insight and is a symbol in the Middle East and North Africa to confront evil.
Metamorphosis is the theme at the core of the show. A celebration of the conquest of evil, and the ways in which tragedy can be transformed through love. The installation in Berlin is complemented by large-scale painted photographs of flowers that provide an explosion of colour, in lush joyful tones, creating an exuberant allegorical tune of memory and redemption to complement the exhibition.
María Magdalena Campos-Pons, The Rise of the Butterflies, runs at the Galerie Barbara Thumm until the 31st December 2021.