Today, Carolyn Murphy launched a new multi-plate butterfly linocut from her website shop. The linocut design, called ‘Welcome Home’, is inspired by the return of the rare Manchester argus butterfly to its local habitat, after 150 years.
Carolyn, a Manchester-based artist and printmaker created the linocut during the pandemic lockdowns. The BBC featured the positive story of the recent reintroduction of this local species in May 2020. “I was really amazed by the story of this heath butterfly”, explained Carolyn. ” Nature has generally thrived during the pandemic, thanks to more limited human activity, however this small butterfly needed human help to return to its former home. It’s fantastic to see the number of organisations working together to make this possible.”
Back in Manchester
The Manchester argus became extinct in Manchester in 1850, because of land drainage and other pressures on its habitat, according to The Wildlife Trust. The Trust was part of a partnership project, GM Wetland Species Reintroduction Project, which masterminded the butterfly’s return, in conjunction with Chester Zoo. The Manchester argus butterfly returned from other populations in the North West to the Manchester Mosses area. However, because it does not travel far during its lifetime, it needed a helping hand from the project. Let’s hope it goes on to thrive again locally.
New linocut design
The new butterfly linocut design is a stylised image of the butterfly and complements ‘Hard at Work’, her linocut of Manchester bees (2015), in that it has the same image size (25cm x 25cm) and a similar structure and colours. Both reflect the balance between people and our fragile natural world.
‘Welcome Home’ goes on display at an exhibition later this year in Chorlton, Manchester. Further details will follow in due course.
Carolyn’s printmaking work is available for sale via this website. To find out more about the story behind this artwork, why not check out Carolyn’s blog post.