Liz Ward: Angangueo, 2004
Gum bichromate on paper, dimensions variable
Statement for Exhibition at UTSA Satellite Space, San Antonio, 2004
The work was also installed in Wake Capture, a solo exhibition at Dunn & Brown Contemporary, Dallas.
As fall approaches in North America, monarch butterflies from all over the eastern and central United States begin their epoch journey to Mexico, where they converge in a small area of pine forest high in the mountains of Michoacan. Angangueo is the name of the town in Mexico, which is home to the overwintering colonies of millions of monarch butterflies. In her upcoming exhibition at the UTSA Satellite Space, artist Liz Ward will present a new, large-scale installation piece on paper, Angangueo, which explores the extraordinary migration cycle of the monarch butterfly.
Angangueo reflects Ward’s ongoing interests in natural history, organic systems, seasonal change, and environmental issues. She used the 19th-century photographic process, gum bichromate, in which watercolor paint is combined with a light-sensitive chemical, to produce the hundreds of images that comprise the work. Each individual print bears a “butterfly” shape, which is actually created from silhouettes of human profiles. Ward used a palette of bright oranges and blue in the work, colors inspired by the sight of millions of monarch butterflies against a backdrop of intense sky blue.