Alexander James Hamilton's practice is driven by a lifelong interest in field observation, scientific discovery with a prominence in exploring the liquid mechanics of water. For this series he bred butterflies in the studio, which were dotted with chrysalises, specifically the South American Morpho genus, which is naturally capable of entering a comatose state. He then photographed them underwater, alive and unharmed, with no need of postproduction. The results are unsettlingly beautiful in their combination of natural and unnatural.
The butterfly has wide significance through different cultures; as a symbol of love, regeneration, fortune, spirituality and death. Of particular interest to the artist is that Greek mythology links the butterfly to the souls of those who have passed away. Thus, this series acts as a reflection on life and mortality; it is fleeting, beautiful and ultimately tragic.
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