Observations: Come to the butterfly ball
Friday 15 May 2009
What do Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais and Tony Blair have in common? Aside from a propensity for making embarrassing speeches, that is. The answer, unexpectedly, lies with butterflies.
They are among 80 artists, designers, writers and politicians who have contributed to The Butterfly Book, a charity art book in aid of Leukaemia Research.
Winslet drew a "butterfly person", inspired by her daughter Mia, while Gervais, drawing on his Flanimals cartoons, provided a bigger, hairier version. Blair sent in a silk butterfly plucked from a display at an official dinner. Among the artists, Grayson Perry has dreamed up a typically outrageous killer insect with swastikas on its wings and nipple piercings (yes, his butterflies have nipples) while Cornelia Parker created a Rorschach blot of a butterfly using snake venom for ink. Other contributors, from a wide field, include Gavin Turk, Manolo Blahnik, Ewan McGregor, Maggi Hambling, Matthew Williamson, Alan Ayckbourn, and Quentin Blake.
Alongside the £25 hardback book there are also 70 limited-edition books for sale which come with one of the original artworks inside, costing £100. The artworks are pre-sealed and there is no way of choosing: like the popular Royal Academy postcard exhibition, it's a case of lucky dip, meaning you could end up with a £100 Peter Blake bargain or, less luckily, a doodle from Ann Widdecombe.
Among the non-visual contributions, Lembit Opik has written a verse comparing the flight of the butterfly to the unpredictability of life, Jeffrey Archer sent in an ode written by somebody else (plus ça change) and Jeanette Winterson summed up the transient appeal of the most beautiful – and rapidly disappearing – of insects with a poem: "I love them because they are so brief and so beautiful. A line of poetry. A run of colour. A bar of music. Gone."
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts