£2,034
pledged of £8,900pledged of £8,900 goal
31
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 22 2019 4:24 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 25, 2019

I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition

The first ever photo art book of butterflies photographed in flight. A limited edition of 500 in support of Butterfly Conservation.

I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition

The first ever photo art book of butterflies photographed in flight. A limited edition of 500 in support of Butterfly Conservation.

£2,034
pledged of £8,900pledged of £8,900 goal
31
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 22 2019 4:24 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 25, 2019

About

24 May 2011  “Drawn to the flickering brilliance of a butterfly, I walked out of the front door and into a field of wild grasses and flowers. I wanted to photograph the butterfly in flight, more or less imagining the butterfly flying through the frame exactly when the shutter released and of course, in my mind's eye, the focus would be spot-on. In short order I discovered the difference between my imagined scenario and the mindblowing complexity and randomness of the butterfly’s flight.Chuck East

True, things didn't go exactly as my dad imagined in the first few days of photographing butterflies flying. But with reflection and tuning, the butterfly began gracing the frame from time to time.  And over the next seven years, thousands of butterflies winged their way through the frame creating a unique archive of butterflies photographed in flight.

To bring a select collection of these images to a wider audience, in December 2017, I gifted my dad all the time, energy and TLC required to publish a book of his photographs. And in 2018 we published the first ever book of butterflies photographed in flight: a hand-made and hand-bound collector’s edition, titled after Zhuang Zhou’s classic dream parable, I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly.  

Now, encouraged by your responses and feedback, and motivated by the ever-increasing urgency to address the plight of this fragile creature, we are launching the second book of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly, The Conservation Edition. 

For every four books pledged by you and others, one book will be donated to the leading charity in butterfly research and habitat restoration, Butterfly Conservation, in support of the vitally important work of its scientists, staff and dedicated volunteers. For us, this is the perfect way to share the images of these brilliant aviators.  

I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly was born on a dream, the images meditations on the butterfly in flight. And with your support our book will take wing. 

Please consider choosing a reward and spread the word to friends, family and colleagues so The Conservation Edition can reach an even wider audience.

"Very rarely do I stumble upon a photographic project that I feel compelled to support because of its sheer beauty and inspiring story. Chuck East is a special photographer who has captured my attention in this way... The images seem to send us spiraling into almost secretive feeling microcosmic worlds through rarely documented aspects of action photography.” Josh Reichmann CEO The Luminous Landscape

The heart and soul of the book is the surreal simplicity and serenity of the images … each a meditation on the butterfly in flight.

The rewards

More about The Conservation Edition

  • The book will be offset printed and bound, the hardcover wrapped in a natural textured material that feels good to the touch
  • 32 photographs of the butterfly in flight, spaciously presented over 72 pages
  • Each image a meditation on this beautiful aviator 
  • Scattered throughout the book are musings on life, reality and dreams of the ancient Daoist philosophers Zhuang Zhou, Lao Tzu and others
  • A limited first edition of 500, each book signed, numbered and dated

Retail for The Conservation Edition - I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly is £50. Kickstarter backers receive a 20% discount at £40 and a 32% discount for the Early Butterfly reward. 

This is the handmade book of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly ... The Conservation Edition is being designed much the same using natural textured materials that feel good to the touch
This is the handmade book of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly ... The Conservation Edition is being designed much the same using natural materials that feel good to the touch
The sheer energy and beauty of the butterfly's flight creates a powerful, living symbol for the works of conservationists - scientists, staff and volunteers - in their bid to restore and preserve ecosystems vital to the earth's health.
The sheer energy and beauty of the butterfly's flight creates a powerful, living symbol for the works of conservationists - scientists, staff and volunteers - in their bid to restore and preserve ecosystems vital to the earth's health

Choose this book and you will also be supporting the work of Butterfly Conservation 

  • For every four books pledged by one or several backers, we will freely donate and ship one book to Butterfly Conservation
  • Your name will be listed in the limited edition, and subsequent editions, as a patron of the book and the donation
  • The donated books can be used as BC wishes

Donations are the backbone to supporting conservation efforts around the world. 

You can also select one or more museum quality prints of selected images ready to be framed 

  • Choose from a selection of images from the book printed on A4 paper (297x210mm, 8.27x11.69 inches)
  • Each image rendered with rich pigment inks applied to thick (308 gsm) Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, a fine art paper, creating museum-quality archival prints
  • The prints will be shipped in archival envelopes to ensure image permanence of 200 years and more

Creating this level of lasting value is an artistic striving emanating from a soulful yearning within each of us to create and sustain life, to nurture and heal. This includes healing the earth so that tomorrow's children can also delight in the butterfly as a brilliant and mesmerizing aviator, a dream maker and a symbol of love and health. 

It is a book of photographs taken from within the butterfly’s world ... down the rabbit hole, deeper into shards of light, shapeshifting shadows ...

The Dream: "Once upon a time, I, Zhuang Zhou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhou. 

Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." 庄子 or 莊子 Zhūangzi c.369 BC – c.286 BC

Zhuang Zhou's timeless twist on perception and reality inspired the title of the book. With razor sharp wit and linguistic nimbleness, his dream-paradox teases us to un-see the world in absolute physical terms. Put simply, do we dream the universe or does it dream us? 

With dream-like clarity, Chuck's images reframe our perceptions of the iconic butterfly. Rather than the butterfly captured on a flower or leaf, his camera arrives at improbable intersections within the butterfly's turbo-charged, random flight labyrinth. And then equally improbably the shutter releases at the exact moment the butterfly graces the frame while crossing the focal plane ... its flight now a single point in spacetime ...  a photograph.      

32 photographs spaciously presented over 72 pages allowing an unhurried reflection on each image
The photo prints are rendered on a thick archival paper created for extra rich photographic images
The photo prints are rendered on thick archival paper creating extra rich photographic images
I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition was born on a dream, the images meditations on fragments of time. We hope you will join us in celebrating the beauty and importance of the butterfly in a tribute to those individuals and organizations dedicated to the well-being of all things and all creatures great and small.
We hope you will join us in celebrating the beauty and importance of the butterfly in a tribute to those individuals and organizations dedicated to the well-being of all things and all creatures great and small

 Butterfly Conservation has grown to become one of the largest insect conservation organisations in the world. It is recognized worldwide for its contribution to international conservation actions, including saving threatened species from extinction and maintaining and enhancing habitats. Its president is no less than Sir David Attenborough, the highly respected broadcaster and naturalist, who has been at the forefront of global conservation for more than 60 years.

Butterfly Conservation provides practical models and programs for education, statistics gathering, land restoration and much more for individuals and groups around the world. Check out https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies for an extraordinary journey through all-things-butterflies including beautiful photographs of butterfly species. And here is a link if you wish to join: https://butterfly-conservation.org/how-you-can-help/join. 

The heart and soul of the book is the surreal simplicity and serenity of the images

Who are we? 

Chuck East - Photographer and Creator of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly

               Chuck’s first taste of photography, at the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, was cut short when he was commissioned to write and direct a documentary film. This led to a 35-year career, during which he produced and directed documentaries and commercials, eventually specializing in theatre drama and dance. An avid skier and trail trotter (he walks when no one's watching), Chuck climbed extensively in his teens, worked for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) when it was one small shop above the Green Apple Pie in downtown Seattle. He nearly failed high school due to truancy and poor grades, trading time away from school for the mountains where he climbed and skied when the weather was right ... which was pretty well any time.

Summer was slow to arrive at our home this year ... snowy conditions are great for dreaming about butterflies.

Oliver East - Publisher and Creator of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly

Oliver's first taste of photography was having a dad who unrelentingly photographed him and his brother, Nick ... there was no place to hide. After university, where he studied languages, Oliver aka Olve decided to embrace the beast and learn more about photography as a-tool-in-the-box for exploring gardening, vegan dishes and climate change. This project, I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly, has pretty well filled his calendar in the short term. Spare time is spent working with his family building a hempcrete eco-home in the French Alps, learning about permaculture and constantly tinkering with plant-based cooking.

What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. Lao Tzu

Please spread the word!

Thank you for being a part of this project. Here's a bite-size link to the project http://kck.st/2Ap7XY2 If you could please share it on your social media, or with a few friends by email, that's what will make this project succeed!

The music for the video

When we listened to Philipp Weigl's lush, ethereal "Like Starlight Through a Veil" it was pure Serendipity. We are using his music under an Attribution License which requires us to acknowledge that Weigl has not  endorsed our project/video and additionally we faded out a before the  end of the piece as arranged. Our heartfelt thanks to Philipp, his music beautifully, uniquely composed and executed ... you can hear more at https://phweigl.wixsite.com/music-production-mp 

Risks and challenges

Chuck's background is in creating, directing and producing commercial film production for clients demanding excellence and on-time completions. Accountability is paramount in that industry.

Discussions are well underway with our book printer, ironing out design and production issues, so once the project completes we will be able to move onto producing the book.

Likewise for the prints, we have worked with Rupert Morley for the last six years. Rupert has printed Chuck's exhibitions and over the last year reviewed and reworked proofs for the book.

But every project has risks. And if any issues/delays arise we will communicate with all backers quickly and accurately and work conscientiously to minimize delays.

Many thanks for your support!

Oliver East

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Computer Wallpaper + Heartfelt Thanks

    One digital image from the series to be used as a computer wallpaper, as well as an email from us to say thank you for supporting the project.

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    The Book

    One copy of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition. A 20% discount off the retail price of £50.

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    The Book + One Print

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    The Book - Early Butterfly

    One copy of I Dreamt I Was a Butterfly - The Conservation Edition. A 32% discount off the retail price of £50.

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Funding period

- (35 days)