Image taken at holography lab in Toronto, 2019.


This project was generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario


The Butterfly Effect (Analogue Denisyuk Full Colour Holograms) - 2019

The Butterfly Effect, is the phenomena that small actions, such as a butterfly’s flap, can act as a catalyst toward alternative events into the future. The term was popularized by Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist and mathematician who created Chaos Theory. Lorenz proposed that it is impossible to predict the weather, as any microscopic atmospheric change can alter the course of nature. As a result, the way the atmosphere operates is out of our hands, and in the attempt to predict it, would be impossible. In order to make his philosophy understood by non-scientists, he began using the analogy of the butterfly effect. As an artist, I am fascinated with this analogy as it emphasizes on the importance of mundane yet delicate events in nature that are constantly happening around us such as the rhythmic flapping of butterfly wings. What also captures my imagination are the memories that adult butterflies have in their short life span, as they retain their memories during metamorphosis. This led me to use holography as the medium, because it offers a pure way of connecting with the species through light, and ultimately, memory. To experience a hologram is to look at the memories that are embedded in the holographic emulsion when it is exposed to laser light. By recording three species through light diffraction i.e. a Hologram, I am attempting to use the medium as a way to capture new memories. These memories play within the thin line of fantasy and reality where the sensual nature of silk and synthetic rose petals contrasts the harsh reality of three dead dried butterflies.

Documentation: Darren Rigo

Tools: dried butterflies, silk, analogue holography lab, holographic plates, RGB laser set up, chemical processing

2020 — Group exhibition at Gallery 44, curated by Heather Riggs
Press: Gallery 44 Interviews Jawa El Khash for The Butterfly Effect


Using Format