“Once upon a time, Chuang Chou dreamed that he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting about happily enjoying himself. He didn’t know that he was Chou. Suddenly he awoke and was palpably Chou. He didn’t know whether he were Chou who had dreamed of being a butterfly, or a butterfly who was dreaming that he was Chou.”
The web is full of philosophical musings about this story (alternate name given as Zhuangzi) from 200-300 BC. I decided that it had to be depicted with the contemplative philosopher meditating as an image on a butterfly wing, and originally thought of using reds and oranges, but it was the purple satin that led itself to become the sage’s robe, and the purple and blue scraps to define the wings. I made a couple of butterfly stamps and used some purple gauze as the wing surface, cutting out the other butterfly shapes and sewing the edges with coppery metallic thread.