Once upon a butterfly

red butterflies psyche sculpture

In the Main Library floating above the great hallway is…well a head. That’s what some folks call it anyway, as it is indeed head shaped. It does however have a proper name and with it a multitude of meaning. This lovely head-shaped cloud of butterflies, created by Boston artists Ralph Helmick and Stu Schechter, is called “Psyche” – a name that refers both to the Soul (spirit, or mind of a human being), and what the Greeks called the butterfly.

Each butterfly was, once upon a time, a bold orange. With time, daily sunbathing, and probably not the least amount of tiny dust mote collecting, this lovely swarm of once seeming monarchs now looks to be made up of the butterfly’s mysterious and darker cousin: the moth.

Frankly, I’m fine with both butterflies and moths, as each is lovely in distinct ways. There is a lovely sort of melancholy with “Psyche” now – a haunting yet whimsical sense of wabi-sabi to the piece.

As modern and glassy as the building is this one piece can show the graceful passage of time and even history, even if it is just a decade long ago…




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