Parable (I), 2020 | Gareth McConnell

Edition of 20
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag ultra smooth 308gsm
29.7 x 42 cm / 11.69 x 16.53 in
Signed, numbered & titled on reverse


Also available in larger sizes

42 x 59.4 cm / 16.5 x 23.4 in | Edition of 6 + 2 ap
84.1 x 118.9 cm / 33.1 x 46.8 in | Edition of 3 + 1 ap

Please email for prices and more information.
Bespoke mounting, framing and delivery can also be arranged on request


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many artists have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support, gallery work, exhibitions and sales have disappeared. In an attempt to help alleviate some of this the artist Matthew Burrows instigated the #artistsupportpledge on Instagram

The concept is a simple one. You post images of your work to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping.) Anyone can then buy the work. Every time you reach £1000 of sales you pledge to buy another artist/s work for £200.

So make a pledge and post your work using #artistsupportpledgeand follow the #. keep updated on news and further opportunities@artistsupportpledge Repost and tell your friends, colleagues and collectors. For a users guide please see the HOW TO posts@artistsupportpledge


From a conversation with Atmos Magazine

What inspired you to tell this particular story?

I guess its just another take on themes I’m always trying to reference in my work – the fleeting nature of life, the desire to transcend, religiosity, the possibility of change, suffering, death, the exultation of nature, human folly, overconsumption, destruction… the death spiral of capitalism – all thar good stuff! On a more objective level I just wanted to make something new but that had as little impact as possible, that I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything other than buy some stuff on eBay (in this case butterflies and expired 1990’s polaroid) and go across the road to my studio and put my headphones on, listen to some good music and see what comes out.

How do butterflies encapsulate flourish/collapse in your eyes?

I think butterflies are a particularly potent symbol for the environmental crisis of this time. They have fascinated man from time immemorial and across cultures, one aspect of that, the parable of the life cycle – we are born, then as caterpillar, the insatiable worm toiling on earth, then the chrysalis as death, the coffin, then the butterfly as the resurrection or reemergence in an afterlife. So whether you want to read that in a religious or scientific context it is by nature a cycle, the hope is that it goes round and round endlessly.

So they are symbolic of hope and renewal but simultaneously there is also a long tradition of butterflies representing darker forces of temptation, destruction and death. It seems like that could be the reading we also need to pay attention to now, the dark messenger, the prospect of the end of that life cycle completely, the spirit crushed, the end, and not just for the butterfly or the insect or the bee, or that orangutan we have all seen on Instagram but all of us because we are of course inextricably interlinked.

What do we have to learn from these creatures and their extinction?

I should make it clear that these photographs are not literal documentation, in the sense that these I have no idea to their conservation status or even individual names. I bought them as antique collections on eBay. I am a total layman in terms of lepidopterology (the study of moths and butterflies). What I’m thinking about is more subjective, as in the butterfly representing the natural world, a metaphor for the material expression of the endless creative mind of evolution, nature, God (perfect or imperfect creator) whatever you want to call it. I’m just looking myself and asking you to look, and to ask yourself what an amazing, intricate and unknowable place this earth is, how amazing, intricate and unknowable these creatures are, how amazing, intricate and unknowable a creature you are, we are, the symphony of life, the beautiful struggle, what are you gonna do to help, not that I think it will make any difference, its just (as the man said) a sad poem.

What does metamorphosis mean to you?

Salvation is present in every one of us