A local artist says she wants to continue making a big impact with her art.
Alexandra Ross says she grew up with parents who were both artistic and found herself drawn into the world of visual art and expression photography. Ross adds she likes constructing physical pieces of art which make an impact for the viewer, such as the 500 ceramic butterflies she put together for the Summertide art installation at The Forks this past week.
"With the butterflies, there's 500 of them suspended on a wire. So, the impact is the collective nature of it. If you're walking down a path you would encounter what appears to be this kaleidoscope of butterflies. That, I think, we don't necessarily see in everyday life at this point. We don't often walk through a field and see more than one butterfly at a time."
Ross notes this large group of butterflies may have been a common occurrence when Manitoba was covered with tall grass prairie but is a rare sight now. She says, with large projects such as this, she has a group of friends who lend a helping hand.
"I have friends who I talked to about the project and they are my idea friends. Then I had a bunch of friends sit down one night and help me make all the ceramic butterflies. I taught them a little bit about ceramics and they mastered it. Then we fired them and I had another group of friends help me out in the woodworking shop and we painted 500 butterflies."
She says she would like to bring more public art displays to rural Manitoba and the Southeast to display contemporary art for all to explore and dialogue.
"I would love to continue to explore topics that require nuance and complexity and bring into dialogue my experience as a woman in this world, my experience as a white settler in Manitoba and in Canada. My experience as someone who is watching the loss of biodiversity. So, something like a butterfly that I may never see alive in my lifetime, what does that mean. I want to have more conversations like this."
Ross notes, when pursuing art, the most important thing is to follow your heart and know that failure is part of the journey; stumbling teaches you about yourself and what you've learned and have yet to learn.