Transmigration - CODAworx


Submitted by sarah crooks flaire

Client: Museum of Science and History

Location: Jacksonville, USA

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $2,500

Project Team


sarah crooks flaire

evervess art studio


Christy Leonard

Museum of Science and History


To accompany their exhibition The Green revolution renewed, The Museum of Science and History commissioned me to create a communal flock of paper butterflies called Transmigration in their main lobby. This temporary interactive installation focused on environmental themes such as recycling and earth stewardship. By skinning a 20' wall with cardboard and muslin I created a surface upon which visitors pinned handmade paper butterflies . This communal flock of monarch mimics, changed configuration throughout the course of the 4 months as the flock grew under my guidance as artist in residence for the exhibition .


The butterfly flock of Transmigration along with other artwork using repurposed materials was integrated throughout the museum . By calling attention to climate change and our personal impact on the environment we asked visitors in what small ways could they affect personal change. Visitors were encouraged to create a butterfly out of recycled paper , and write their hope for a transformation or a thought of gratitude on the back, As we pinned them into the communal flock we released a spoken intention together. Ephemeral and transformative The final image incorporated 900 individual pieces, approximately 300 created by the visitors .


I worked with the museums curatorial staff to come up with a plan and to create a PDF to include in their website, so visitors could print butterflies at home or do them on site at the museum on specified workshop days. The image was based on a silkscreen of my design, scaled to fiit with my own paper butterflies. We decided early on that the imagery would be an abstract representation of earths energy, at first represented by a growing spiral then moving through plant and animal forms and finally integrating a human presence. I was actively collaborating with each visitor during the pinning process and then as a butterfly rodeo artist I would reconfigure the flock. The project provided a different image to repeat visitors, as well as a way for virtual visitors to engage in the process. It lasted for four months and I had a wonderful time engaging in intimate conversations with people of all ages and talking about change.

Additional Information

I have been privileged to create flocks in hospital rooms, nursing homes, and museums using an original group of 1000 butterflies which I created by hand silkscreening an image onto recycled magazines, junk mail, receipts and other discarded paper. This was the first time I created one with such a diverse group of people and over a long period of time.