EuropeNudeThe Butterfly Effect by Matthieu Colnat

This is the story of a puppet discovering life inside of her through the world around her, and becoming a real woman. Puppets and dolls are artefacts of childhood.
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The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat
The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat

This is the story of a puppet discovering life inside of her through the world around her, and becoming a real woman. Puppets and dolls are artefacts of childhood.

I have always been fascinated by fables and tales and their way of using seas of metaphores to make us sail on fantastic adventures. Why do they speak to me? Why do they speak to so many people? I could not say exactly.

As far as I am concerned, maybe only such worlds know how to communicate with the little boy inside of me. Just like an adult would use filters and choose very careful words to tell about a serious or dramatic event to a child, so the message would be perfectly understood.

The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat
The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat

Just like a ramping caterpillar breaks its chrysalis to become a flying butterfly, this puppet slowly realises there is life in her, and starts to animate. She wakes up and observes the world around. I borrowed satured colors from cartoons at the beginning, but used only natural sunlight offered by the forest to dive in which could easily be a faery tale. The moving puppet sees her neighboors, dolls, and is fascinated by them. She observes them, because they look like her, or maybe she looks like them. She would like to be one of them as she finds them very beautiful. So she tries out different outfits in order to do so. But eventually, as she can’t find proper dresses, she gets tired of these inanimated figures. She is not part of the static world anymore. That is when she breaks her cocoon to become who she is supposed to be ; which is a glamouros and self-assured woman.

The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat
The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat

The first steps of the puppet refers to childhood when kids observes before becoming active and trying on their own. And when they do, it’s clumsy to begin with. Then teenage brings us to try and find our place in our society. This process brings us further away from childhood, and finally, we get out of our comfortable cocoon which is our parent’s home to explore the world by ourselves and become who we are.

We could have easily shot this story in interiors using for instance more setting elements like play chests in front of colorful wallpapers, but I wanted to push the concept a bit further. As it is for me a butterfly tale, I wanted to shoot it in open nature. I think moving the box, the ornaments and dolls outside gives them a different perspective, almost mystical. On this matter, I have to thank Nathalie, the make up artist, who came up with nice props to put this story into pictures.
Shooting nudes outside is also often quite rewarding. It is not always the easiest shootings to plan and you need for that artists truly comitted to their passion. For the model, it is never too warm, and for the rest of the crew it is just uncomfortable to carry the material in the middle of a forest, with the weather like wind and rain, trying to avoid people passing by always too curious. Just like a box and a few dolls outside seems a bit misplaced, we do too, but we do it eventually because in the end, it adds another layer of art to the whole project. It is no news body and nature always offer a deep and interesting contrast to work with ; smoothness of skin works nicely with harsh textures like rocks and tree trunks, and the harmonious shape of the woman figure fits perfectly in a natural environment. It is not a coincidence it has been the most vivid source of inspiration for painters and artists all around the world for so many centuries, and it will most surely continue to be so. [Official Website]

The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat
The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat

The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat
The Butterfly Effect | Matthieu Colnat

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