Alison Turnbull

PSYCHE. Or, the butterfly – An Expanded Field Guide

In 2017, Colombian-born British artist Alison Turnbull (b. 1956, Bogotá) travelled to Chocó, Colombia at the invitation of Fundación Más Arte Más Acción to study butterflies in the Pacific rainforest, working alongside Dr Blanca Huertas, butterfly expert and Senior Curator in Lepidoptera at the Natural History Museum, London.

Psyche is the ancient Greek word for both butterfly and soul. PSYCHE. Or, the butterfly – An Expanded Field Guide is Alison Turnbull’s observational record, both literal and imaginary, of the expedition.

Comprising a wide variety of idioms drawings, photographs, notes, fragments and literary sources this book of butterflies is a natural history field guide in the broadest sense.

It includes The Mimic Net, a new essay by writer and mythographer Marina Warner and an illustrated foldout poster guide to the butterflies of the region by Dr Huertas.

This publication is the culmination of a series of events including Alison Turnbull’s exhibition, If Mimicry Minded at Matt’s Gallery in London and her BBC Radio 4 programme, Butterflies in Colombia, both of which occurred in 2018.

PSYCHE. Or, the butterfly is part of the Forest Transformation project supported by the British Council and the Natural History Museum in London.

Co-published by Matt’s Gallery with Fundación Más Arte Más Acción.

English and Spanish text.

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