(This was the original watercolor entry for a local mural initiative for a shelter. Artist Statement included below. -Ghosh 2015)
“Moving Towards the Sun”
When I think about Migration, the first image that comes to mind is that of the monarch butterfly. Few animals inspire the same devotion to migration as the monarch butterfly. Their 3000-mile migration from Canada to Mexico and back to the Gulf coast states has served as one of nature’s greatest mysteries. However, the rise in wildfires, drought, logging, climate change and the drastic loss of their milkweed habitat have all contributed to the falling number of monarch butterflies. Their population is disappearing at an alarming rate so much so that political leaders across the US, Canada and Mexico are coming together to help rebuild ideal habitats for these sun painted butterflies. Despite the several struggles, the migratory habits of monarchs continue to fascinate scientists particularly because it is a story of resilience. Along the same vein, human migration over the years has been a similar story to that of the famous butterfly. People shift to greener pastures for a variety of reasons ranging from poverty, economic gain, marriage and/or education etc. The continued movement of people has shifted the design and capacity of our modern day infrastructure so much so that it seems overwhelming.
This mural aims to capture the movement (migration) of animal species (monarch as the example) and human migratory aspirations as an ongoing natural conflict. It also seeks to convey the need to bridge (as illustrated in the mural) the disconnect between nature and human activities that create potentially damaging effects on our ecosystem. Set over the backdrop of Tucson’s fiery sunset, monarch butterflies are on the move. From their wings is a young woman on a swing who looks ahead to a city far away from her as she dreams of better days.