The Golden Butterfly
Medium – Indian Ink & Acrylic
Size – 11 in. X 14 in.
Year of creation – 2022
The “golden butterfly” series contains 12 multimedia sketches, in which I have attempted to explore feminism and it’s struggles though the ages, while celebrating the diverse strengths of femininity despite those struggles.
Feminism boils down to gender equality – equality in rights and privileges, equality in power and decision making, equality in the eyes of society and law. It also means an emphasis on inclusion despite one’s sexuality, understanding the significance of diverse perspectives despite one’s socio-economic condition, and embracing true freedom that comes with choices despite one’s religious and political beliefs.
To me the “golden butterfly” symbolizes this metamorphosis – metamorphosis of feminism through the ages to include all colors and forms of femininity, and to embrace the eastern philosophies along those of the west. This metamorphosis is not just the mere physical journey of life (thru birth, growth, and death); but the spiritual journey through the four stages of self-discovery – Artha (creating wealth), Kama (indulgence in that wealth), Dharma (using that wealth for others), and Moksha (outgrowing self and need – true realization).
Femininity is the origin of the world through Mother Gaia who created herself out of primordial chaos. From her fertile womb all life sprang, and unto Mother Earth all living things must return, after their allotted span of life is over. Even though there in no dearth of female figurines being worshipped in most forms of religion across the world, women are yet to be recognized as equals in most societies. Like Medusa, the sexually and intellectually independent woman is still a fearsome sight to behold. Medusa remains of temporal importance because she is the symbol of what female power looks like in the face of threatened male authority. Post #MeToo – has the narrative changed? Post #COVID19 – has the load on “mother” balanced out?
Are we yet capable of letting a feminine form enjoy her life, and not be pinned with panopticon gaze like inversion of mythical Argus Panoptes? Who are we to dictate her choice over what she does with her body? What if we let the femininity within our body express itself with full freedom – why can’t we not let her express her carefree love with the carelessness of a child? I truly dream of a wish fulfilling tree, the perfect balance in this imperfectly beautiful world of ours – where no matter how virile it gets, she still rises from the ashes like a Phoenix, and is ultimately transformed into the “golden butterfly”!
–words in the artist statement credited to Prantik Sinha.