This installation work is inspired by Nada Debs’s signature mother of pearl butterflies inlaid onto concrete surfaces, where the butterflies embellish, animate and bring to life the cold and dry concrete material elements as the main characters to tell the story of 2. It uses these an unfortunate recent phenomenon that has been on an upsurge in Lebanon in the last couple of years: the mass migration of the Lebanese, following the political downfall of the country’s economy, and the increasingly challenging living conditions. If in a similar way, the butterflies were to leave their concrete “homes”, what would their absence look like? A rich imprint, a bittersweet shape of emptiness fossilized into the home they abandoned, and in the hearts and memories of those who were left behind.
Through this story, the artwork aims to explore the complexity of human emotion, where tonalities of sadness, grief, emptiness as well as deep longing, beauty and hope can all coexist and find room inside each of us. One is also invited to draw associations to losing loved ones through not only mass migration, but also death, tragedy, political causes among other unfortunate events. And to keep in mind the fragility and short life span of this creature the butterfly, and how that is true for human life as well.