I saw the butterfly as a powerful symbol of the natural and spiritual will to survive through change and transformation.Jack Shadbolt (1909-1998)
The way we look at art is significantly influenced by the environment it is presented in. A painters brush moves across the surface of a canvas; or a tool translates the imagination of a sculptor. Once completed, an artworks existence may include its relocation to various places. The aesthetics of a location as well as activities in the area can influence an artworks meaning and value. For example, an emblematic painting or sculpture may be infused with added poignancy or drama if displayed in a church or a theatre.
Jack Shadbolt, Primavera (1987), detail
The relocation of Jack Shadbolts Primavera is presently underway. In 1987, in collaboration with Alan Wood and Greg Bullen, this commissioned art project was originally installed onto the concrete mezzanine wall of the MacMillan Bloedel building in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Primavera, a sizeable painted wood sculptural image depicting two butterflies flanking a central chrysalis, has been a dynamic fixture of the architectural cityscape.
Primavera has been sold and is designated to join the art collection of the Okanagan Valley winery, Tantalus Vineyard. In preparation for its move, my conservation treatment of this unique three-dimensional artwork has just been completed with the cleaning and removal of twenty-three years of dust and grime. Repairs included the carving of a broken and missing portion of the central chrysalis. Conservation treatment recovered the brilliant colour, compositional movement, and exuberant imagery.
A professional company will be installing Primavera at its new location. The display of an artwork is not merely a matter of hammering a nail into a wall or shifting the piece for the perfect position. Preparations for this installation included acquiring information relative to the winerys events, ongoing operations, and other environmental considerations.
A preliminary winery visit was necessary to assess the facilitys structural characteristics and various display options. The visual impact of this vibrant artwork demands a conscientious selection for its location, which will assure the artworks successful integration with the environment of the winery.
The relocation of Shadbolts creation from a bustling urban location to a pastoral and intimate setting will offer viewers a different visual and spiritual experience.
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