Caroline Higgs – Series #1 – Black and white
Series: I Never Saw Another Butterfly no° 1
On a recent trip to Israel I visited the Holocaust Museum and browsing around the shop as we left I found a book of children’s drawings and poems from the Terezin Concentration camp with the title “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” which is the name of a poem in the book written by Pavel Friedmann dated June 4th 1942.
As I reflected upon what I had seen, and read, I threw out my original ideas for black and white realising that I wanted to use the butterfly from the poem as my series because I could see how the idea would develop. I have kept it simple by using a commercial white floral cotton fabric as a background upon which I machine quilted the outlines of nine butterflies, those which have disappeared, giving them some detail but not much. The two larger butterflies are fused, raw-edge appliquéd by machine with zig-zag stitch using a very fine black thread.
The commercial black cotton fabric I have chosen to use has a type of wire fence motif which, for me, represents the fences around the concentration camps and the areas on the wings which would usually be coloured are empty and therefore the butterflies themselves are disappearing. The edges are bound with the same white fabric which was applied before the quilting and appliqué so that the binding was integral to the design, almost enclosing the image as though some of the butterflies are escaping. I was going to add more hand stitching but I have left it very simple because I wanted to create something that was stark and cold.
black and white, white backgrounds, commercial fabric, machine quilting, fused raw-edge appliqué, bound edges