Matthew Gray Palmer of Friday Harbor, Washington, created “All Things Within All Things” in 2010. The 16’long x 10’tall African elephant sculpture located at the entrance to the Virginia Zoo is composed of over 6,000 aluminum butterflies. The artist playfully illustrates our interconnection with each other by incorporating one of the largest terrestrial mammals with one of the most delicate wind-bound insects, the butterfly.
“This project for the City of Norfolk and the Virginia Zoo provided a tremendous opportunity to reach a wide demographic with multiple layers of meaning. There is pleasure at the spectacle of this massive creature composed of light, delicate insects and vise-versa with a golden butterfly created of elephant forms resting on the tip of the spout. The metaphor can be stretched towards a moving beyond our perceived separateness and a realization that “I” and the other are one and of the same universal manifestation of life.” says Palmer, a full-time artist.