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Annus Mirabilis


Artist Statement

2020 has been a year of transformation for everyone. We move differently in our world. We think differently about all situations and we have had to adapt to constantly changing information, protocols and restrictions. Like the butterfly, we are having to transform. These wall installations use paper butterflies as a symbol of the transformation we have gone through. When COVID ends, we may find that some of the transformations to our way of living will remain and that some of them will make our world a better place.

annus mirabilis: a remarkable or notable year.

The phrase is not extremely common, but it is used by writers and historians to denote any particularly remarkable year. I am using it to mark this past year, 2020, with an exhibition I am creating that is focused on transformation using the butterfly, time and change as images. annus mirabilis is the title of a poem written by John Dryden in 1666. It commemorated 1665–1666, the "year of wonders". The year 1665-66 was one of great tragedy, it included the Battle of Lowestoft, Four Days Battle of June 1666, the victory of the St. James Day battle and then the Great Fire of London from Sept 2-7. The title may have been used to point out that the events of the year could have been worse.

Transformation is the deep time of things when life hangs like a question mark, fragile and always changing.  A single moment in time can determine a life, but it can also take years and decades to form a life. Transformation is a process within human existence. This process allows us to live in the continuous present as we know we will not be the same person tomorrow that we were today. The arithmetic of life can be looked at as continuous subtraction or as continuous transformation. When we die, there is a universe inside our head that evolved and changed as we experienced life.  When parts of our life run thin like the transparent chrysalis of a butterfly there is room for transformation, change, growth and movement.



Seymour Art Gallery



Prints of Butterflies from
annus mirabilis series


The Butterflies  





Monarch 1





Monarch 2

Monarch 3


Monarch 4


Monarch 5


Monarch 6


Monarch 7

Red Spotted Purple 1

Red Spotted Purple 2

Red Spotted Purple 3






Swallowtail 2

Swallowtail - Red Spotted Purple