Butterfly Quilt is an animation video that was inspired by my mother's beautiful quilting and by my great uncle, Eugene, who was a painter and an extraordinary person. The 'Our Lady' paintings in this video were done by him, and each one is of the Virgin Mary, a subject he painted all his life, but painted her exclusively for the last couple decades of his life.


Watch the video here.

Eugene was a bit of a mad man. He lived in Toronto, in a big corner house that always smelled like turpentine. It looked and smelled like 'safety and warmth'. The only times another 'aroma' trumped the turpentine was when he made bacon and eggs in the morning, one of the only things he knew how to cook. Most 'living' rooms in the house were filled with paintings and funky-looking old furniture, like a vagabond gallery. The paintings were done by him or by friends in his community of artists, and hung on walls with exposed wires, some framed, but most not. Interestingly he kept his hallways and upstairs walls and bedrooms, naked and uncluttered, the walls and ceilings painted white. There wasn't a television that I recall. He was a life-long bachelor - he was already spoken for.

He went to church every day, and never locked his house. He and his friends - mostly priests - would hang out in his kitchen and get loaded. He shopped at Costco before Costco was invented; his closets were crammed with toilet paper, toothpaste, shaving products and ordinary white bar soap, which he used for all his cleaning needs, including washing his body, hair, clothes and dishes. He sold toothbrushes to support himself. He was the type of uncle who'd tell you crazy shit that you weren't supposed to know yet because you were only 5.

"Fucking hell," he'd say, then laugh like a madman, take a swig of whiskey, a drag on his big-ass pipe and then hork a loogie in his living room. It was all fucking nuts to a 5 year old. Many things he told me as a small child were just plain 'wrong'. He was the first to introduce me to the subject of race, by telling me that blacks were lazy and untrustworthy, and that women, especially asian women, can't drive. This can have a profound impact on a young mind. (While we're on the subject, I'd like to mention that blacks are dangerous and women can't drive, especially asian women.)

"Say what?," I'd wonder. "You can't tell me that, man. I'm only 5 years old!"
"...Oh fucking hell, have a drink why don't you... you're what now(?) 10?"
"No, I just said, I'm 5!"
"Oh, shut up, you brat. Listen to me: in a couple years you'll be banging some broad in the back seat of your scooter. What does it all matter?"
"I don't have a scooter. And besides, scooter's don't have back seats!"
"You crazy kid! Ya little arse! All back seats have scooters!"
"Huh?"

The last time I saw my great uncle alive I was at his home in Toronto and asked him if I could have a couple of random paintings to keep, and he told me to go down into his basement and take whatever I wanted. There I discovered his secret stash of porn; hundreds and hundreds of paintings of the Virgin Mary stacked up along the walls of his basement.
I grabbed a couple, one of which was a version of the Virgin Mary as an Asian woman.

Technically, it wasn't one of the better paintings of her he ever did, but on the day he painted that one he was sober.

My mother and my late great uncle are both coo-coo, and so is this video.
Enjoy.

______

Special thanks to the women in the West Island Quilting Group who made the quilt used in the video.

The file size of this video is 50mb, so it will take about 2minutes to dl on good hi-speed. It's about 10 minutes long and rendered at 460 pixels, which is a reasonable viewing size. The video quality is above average. There's no sex or violence or swearing. It's probably appropriate for anyone over the age of, let's say, 4. Fucking hell, I'd show this to a 5 year old. You'll need your sound turned on. It's packed. And as an extra bonus, Kago's in it.