Being asking to create weird and wonderful things is probably part of my job description at this point in my creative career but this project may have taken the biscuit! VPET (Victoria Park Environmental Trust) approached me to help the get their new purpose built butterfly house ready for their little visitors. Situated in Victoria Park in Widnes it is an amazing space sometime over looked by visitors but dearly loved and sorely missed by others during it redevelopment.
To ensure the butterfly didn’t damage their delicate wings again condensation on the glass a netting is required. I was approached initially for advice on how I would do this and having created one or two theatre curtains in the past, I suggested a design involving ties within the seems of the netting panels which would then tie to the frame built by their volunteers. As the conversation progressed I was then commissioned to create the 10m long netting tent. (It turns out it isn’t something that many people do, make a tent inside a building.)
Sadly I began in the summer so spent most of the time outside with my sewing machine cutting large pieces of the waterproof fabric (the smallest piece being 2mx3m wide) and making over hundred ties also out of the same fabric. Luckily the butterfly house has two side rooms as well as a brilliant outdoor community garden. The garden became my outside sewing room via a 20m extension cable.
With help from Halton Borough Council to tie it to the ceiling I was very relieved to see the netting up and even more so when I visited again with all of the raised beds, plants and of course the butterflies back in their right place.
The volunteers do such great work in the house and are so knowlodgable about the different species they have. They open each summer for visitors on set days, keep an eye on their facebook page for more details.
Photo credit: Claire Pitt
Photos credit: Claire Pitt