The Story

The beginnings of the Butterfly Bowling Club was in late 2018 when I was commissioned to paint some butterflies for the entranceway to a butterfly garden at Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae north of Wellington, NZ. My friend Matu the manager knew I was capable as he was a fan of what I'd created over the last 30 years as a professional artist. Have a look on my website. I'd also just begun an ongoing sculptural envronmental project creating a native forest of over 5000 trees in the middle of a city and an environmental visual art project around promoting a healthy native birdlife so the progression to butterflies seemed quite natural. What happened next was more and more people were asking me to paint some butterflies for them too. They look at the butterflies it made them smile. They also noticed that they started to notice butterflies more when walking out in nature or in their gardens.

Early on in the project I had an idea for an event at a local Bowling Club where people were to learn how to play lawn bowls surrounded by a huge kaleidoscope of butterflies and hopefully dressed up as butterflies themselves. It was to be very whimsical and playful. At the last minute it didn’t happen but I liked the name ‘The Butterfly Bowling Club’.

Installing Marita's Kahukowhai

The projects that followed encouraged me to promote using butterflies as a vehicle to be present in nature. When you have a butterfly in your daily frame of reference you tend to see these wondrous miracles of nature around you more. We then hopefully stop for a moment and enter in a state of wonder and for that moment we appreciate beauty....with a smile. Their colours and patterning are amazing. The fact that they have flittered about from flower to flower pollenating this world for over 150 Million years even more amazing. The Butterfly Bowling Club itself is the work of art, an environmental activist artwork to encourage us to go out there and enjoy what our natural environment has to offer and to do what is needed to protect and be the guardians of it. This is my offering as an artist to you through bringing butterflies into your world.

Best wishes, Paul.