‘Butterfly Effect’ by Merle Axelrad (incorporating Lutradur)
This large suspended sculpture of butterflies was commissioned by Los Angeles County for The Arcadia Mental Health Centre and installed in the main entrance lobby of the outpatients department in 2015.
It measures 10 feet x 16 feet x 12.5 feet and depicts a cluster of approximately 10,000 Monarch butterflies made from hand-painted and silk-screened materials (including Lutradur), hanging from six aluminium eucalyptus branches, 23 feet above floor level.
A symbol of transformation and new beginnings, the artist, Merle Axelrad states on her website that ‘The outpatient mental health clinic is all about change’ and ‘butterflies are the perfect metaphor.’
Monarch butterflies are also particularly significant as the clinic is on their flight path as millions fly over 2,000 miles on their journey from the United States and Canada, south to California and Mexico for the winter.
Thoughts, written by staff and clients, as well as those involved with the construction of the building and sculpture are printed on more than 700 fabric eucalyptus leaves.
You can see more pictures and hear an interview with Merle discussing the construction and installation of this sculpture by tuning in to Insight at Cap Radio https://www.capradio.org/50520
It must be an enthralling experience to look up and see thousands of butterflies fluttering gently with the slightest movement of air!