Butterflies and fear

Apart from any wider held meanings of particular symbols and images, in the end, individual meaning making takes place and symbols and images take on personal meaning, which may be different from the socially constructed meaning of an image in any particular social group. The butterflies in my images mostly represent terror of my disintegrating into numbness and stillness; my inability to move every time I was hurt, as if pinned like a butterfly on display. Janet wrote that when we are hurt and violated ‘we become fixated, pinned like butterflies to the moment of terror’. So despite their beauty, in my artwork butterflies represent negative feelings, fear and the dark aspects of abuse.