Patricia Ibanez

The Butterfly’s Effect

Systemic Lupus is a chronic and presently, an  incurable illness of the immune system, a condition in which the body’s defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other organs.

One of the more common symptoms of Lupus is called butterfly rash. It is a red rash across the nose and cheeks that resembles a butterfly. Traditionally the butterfly represents freedom, transformation and recovery, that is why the butterfly has become the symbol of hope for Lupus patients, representing the patient achieving all that is reasonable and possible.

Ibanez has used abstractions of butterflies’ wings creating lines and colour blotches that resemble the rashes that people with Lupus experience among many other symptoms. The aim of this methodology is to make her audience question what it is that they are observing and therefore what Lupus could be. This feeling of uncertainty is mirrored in the subjects who experienced symptoms of Lupus before it was diagnosed.