STAIRCASE FEATURE EXHIBITION
annus mirabilis – A Remarkable Year
May 9 to August 5
annus mirabilis embodies beauty, wonder and transformation. Thousands of screen-printed paper butterflies are suspended from branches and floating up to the ceiling in a riot of colour and joy.
Saskatoon based artist Monique began painstakingly crafting the butterflies of annus mirabilis in the summer of 2020. Each butterfly is created with a series of silkscreen prints carefully layered with up to 10 colours. Monique draws each layer by hand, wanting to showcase the patterns, textures and incredible colours of these delicate creatures. She then prints each layer by hand, over and over again, to create thousands of butterflies.
Monique’s process is intentionally deliberate, slow and labour intensive. The butterflies of annus mirabilis hail from a transformative period in the artist’s own life. In the early months of the pandemic time stood still and all activity ceased. For the first time Monique was able to stop – to simply be.
After purchasing some chrysalises online, Monique took time to watch a kaleidoscope of butterflies emerge – marvelling at the natural ease of their transformation. For the butterflies, this dramatic, full bodied transformation is part of living. While for humans, change is slow, scary and sometimes painful.
“I am creating this exhibition at this time to focus on transformation, the positive within the negative and to create conversation about how our lives have changed, sometimes for the better.”
annus mirabilis will be accompanied by an interactive project space. Visitors will be encouraged to write down their own hopes or dreams, forming them into a paper chrysalis to pin to a wall alongside hundreds of others. Together, we can patiently wait for those dreams to emerge.
Monique, annus mirabilis (detail), printmaking installation, 2022. Installed at the Okotoks Art Gallery, 2022; Monique, annus mirabilis (detail), printmaking installation, 2022. Installed at the Okotoks Art Gallery, 2022.