This project is funded by Wakefield Council through Creative Wakefield’s Creative Challange, and will result in 5 installations across 5 libraries in the Wakefield District as part of the 2021 Festival of the Earth. (dates tbc)

The Butterfly Effect

An exploration and celebration of the positive steps everyone can take, individually and collectively, to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact.

The Butterfly Effect, initially proposed by American mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz. suggests the important part small changes can make to vast and complex systems, hence his famous question Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?

The Butterfly Effect project will involve schools, community groups, libraries and individuals across the Wakefield District.

I also want this to work nationally and internationally as well so that people from the Wakefield District are working collaboratively with the rest of the world on one creative project and hopefully gain an understanding that this is a global issue that can be tackled on a local level. 

The project aims to inform people about the importance and value of the small changes we can make to help the environment and to inspire them to make those changes themselves.

The project – Using social media, emails to schools and groups, and other publicity I will ask people to tell me about one small change they can make/or have made to help the environment.

During community workshops these words will be transferred onto 1800 printed and pre-cut butterflies.

For the shape of the butterfly, I looked for the oldest representation of a butterfly in art I could find. I found one from 1350BC, from a tomb painting in Thebes, Egypt.

The butterflies will be attached to transparent hoops that will be suspended from the library ceilings. Some will have 12 butterflies on, others will have 24. The tracing paper wings will be folded so that any passing breeze, or change in temperature, will cause the circles of butterflies to gently rotate, creating their own mini tornadoes.

Each library installation with include 25 circles and a total of 360 butterflies. 

The libraries involved are:

Airedale Library, Horbury Library, Normanton Library, Pontefract Library and South Elmsall Library

To become a part of The Butterfly Effect send your words to me at or via twitter @Tony_Wades #TWTheButterflyEffect

Note –

  • tracing papers I’m using are naturally transparent and are made from 100% pure cellulose fibre without the use of transparentising chemicals
  • Unlike resin-impregnated translucent paper, this tracing paper is 100% recyclable and biodegradable
  • the tracing papers are manufactured from Elemental Chlorine Free and Total Chlorine Free woodpulp from well managed and renewable forest sources that have been certified as FSC or FSC controlled wood

3 Replies to “The Butterfly Effect”

  1. Pingback: 2020 – tony wade

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: