The Moth

  • Emily Caldwell

Most commonly, moths are symbolic of death and the mysteries of the afterlife. Spiritually, death represents change, and the ending of something so that something else can begin. In many Native American cultures, they considered moths to be messengers from the spirit world, especially from those that have passed on. A moth, like butterflies, represents change and transformation. Since this insect always seeks light, it also means that you must search for the light which is present within each one of us. A moth also represents the human soul. If someone you loved has passed recently, then the dream of the moth may be indicative of that person’s journey towards light or liberation. The emperor Moth is one of my favourite moths for its neutral colour palette with a small burst of colour, it's pattern also resembles ones that are found within butterflies. I have drawn the emperor moth and then digitally printed it onto tramore fabric, embellishing it with running stitches and reclaimed wool unraveled from unwanted jumpers. Enhancing colour, I have used discarded silk organza and and dyed it with Procion MX Dye using an ice dying method. Procion MX Dye is considered to be a low impact dying method as it uses 10% less water than other methods, is metal free and is absorbed using cold water. The melting ice transforms the silk organza into a puddle of colour reflecting the natural world’s colours, this piece blurs the lines between land and sea and encourages feelings of tranquillity, relaxation and empathetic love. I have also experimented turning the moth into a pattern that is suitable for both wallpapers and fabric.