Knitted butterflies on a fence

Social Butterflies

Be Social, Be Creative, Be Happy. Social Butterflies is a spectacular art project, where everyone is invited to take part.

Social Butterflies is designed to encourage people to get together and have some fun by taking part in a spectacular art project. Over the coming months, community groups, schools, clubs, local businesses and individuals are invited to create decorative butterflies out of wool, paint, wood, wire, flowers, metal, in fact, absolutely anything they like.

The butterfly is a symbol of change and transformation. It forms part of the identity for Age-friendly Cheshire West and has become synonymous with Brightlife, a local 5-year, project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Brightlife aims to help find ways of reducing social isolation and loneliness and is due to end in March 2020.

The butterfly represents the joy and pleasure to be had by staying connected and active in later life. Social Butterflies reinforces some key messages:

  • creativity and connectedness is key to staying healthy and happy
  • social isolation is everyone’s responsibility
  • people of all ages need to be included, respected and valued by their community
  • you are never too old to explore your creativity, everyone has an artist inside them.

Social Butterflies ‘Goes Live’ on Thursday 30th January

We will see local buildings, shops, and parks adorned with bunting, brought alive with colourful murals, sculptures and displays through a borough-wide piece of art that brings people together and unites communities.

Hand made butterflies placed in a tree

Time to get creative

Whether arty or not, all groups and individuals are invited to be part of the bigger project by contributing a butterfly. It’s time to spread your wings and release your inner artist.

How to take part

Create a butterfly. It’s that simple. It can be made using any material you choose. Knit, sew, paint or sculpt your creation. It’s up to you.

Where it will be displayed

Maybe you could put your butterfly in your front window, on the railings of your community centre, in your garden, a doctor’s surgery or a local shop window. Go and ask and start a conversation. The sky’s the limit.

Make your pledge

Let us know what you plan to make and where you will display by emailing your details to: inclusivecommunities@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Butterfly made using wire

Things to consider

Please consider how you plan to display your piece of work.

Do you need to hang it in some way? Are you able to take it down without leaving anything behind or causing any damage to the surrounding environment? If your piece of work is to be displayed outside, will it withstand the weather? Can it be secured so it doesn’t fall over or fly away? Is it safe if someone touches it?

If you display your piece in a public space e.g. park, town square, community centre; you must:

  • get permission
  • check that the venues Public Liability insurance will cover the display
  • provide a contact detail so the venue can reach the relevant contact
  • state when you will put it up and take it down.

It is best practice to do a risk assessment before installing your display. If working with a venue they may already have a procedure for this. Voluntary Arts have some guidance which may be useful www.voluntaryarts.org/risk-assessment-for-event-organisers-a-beginners-guide

Disclaimer: Social Butterflies cannot be held responsible for any damage to property or people, so please keep yourself (and those around you) safe and get permission for your piece if required.

Butterfly made using a collage

Don’t forget to take your piece of work down when the project has finished – make a note in your diary.

If you would like to see an image of your butterfly displayed on our social media pages, please post the image to our Facebook page.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialButterfliesCheshire/