Born in a Taxi Butterfly House

Published on 28 July 2020

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An innovative exhibition – which explores butterflies’ lifecycles and shrinking habitats – is ready to emerge from its creative cocoon.

Hundreds of hand-made butterflies will fly inside a big transparent cube, creating a “beautiful project with real-world benefits to community and biodiversity”.

Animal flight and motion research and prototype airflow will make this possible. 

Butterfly House is the latest installation from the renowned Born in a Taxi physical theatre company.

Co-director Carolyn Hanna said funding through the City of Stonnington’s Arts and Cultural Grants program was much appreciated.

“We are now able to bring this project into the light of day,” she said.

“Providing the costs associated with technological innovation for something that hasn't been attempted before.”

Carolyn said she believed the project – inspired by artist Bryony Anderson - would provide “hope” to the Stonnington community after prolonged periods of isolation.

“I am inspired to create something completely arresting and seemingly impossible that reminds us of the beauty, worth of nature and the ingenious potential of humanity,” she said.

“We hope to remind people we are intrinsically connected to nature and have a desire to reconnect people who live in cities to the plight of disappearing habitats and therefore the increasing loss of diversity in insects and animals we share the planet with.”

One artist will help the public make butterflies from recycled materials, before being fed into the cube – which Born in a Taxi used for its Enlighten extravaganza at Melbourne Arts Centre in March.


Another will educate audiences about butterfly lifecycles while handing out habitat seeds for backyard plantings encouraging citizens to contribute to local biodiversity.

In the lead-up to the public season, cocoon-weaving workshops are planned in community hubs and libraries.

Completed cocoons will be illuminated and hung alongside the glowing installation.

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