Richard Wilson Butterfly 2003

Richard Wilson
© the artist

This appears to be a diagram for the assembly of an aeroplane. However, its parts seem to have become rather crushed, and the drawing is like a diagram of how to unfold it again.

Some features are recognisable: in the bottom left hand side there are two wheels. Further round, towards the right hand corner there is a nose-cone, a section of fuselage and a windscreen. There are directional arrows around the drawing which suggest the unfolding process that would return this folded shape back to the shape of an aeroplane.

In 2003 Richard Wilson had a Cessna crushed into a small cube of metal. He then set about unfolding it again, slowly restoring the crushed shape into its original form. Entitled Butterfly, the process was filmed in time-lapse motion so when the film was played the aeroplane seemed to unfurl like a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis. This drawing is a record of that project and shows the Cessna crushed like a crane-fly with its legs and wings smashed and squashed.