This large acrylic painting on the 2nd floor of City Hall focuses the viewer on the beauty of the smallest creatures.

Mary Frances Batut - The Secret Language of Moths


Artist: Mary Frances Batut
Location: 2nd Floor East City Hall (13450 104 Ave)
Category: Civic collection
Year Installed: 2016

About The Secret Language of Moths

This painting, done in acrylic on canvas, is from Batut’s series “Large Paintings of Small Beauties,” that express the artist’s inner wonder, curiosity, and reverence for the natural world. This large work, measuring 121.6 cm x 121.2 cm, focuses the viewer’s awareness of the beauty and sacredness of even the smallest of creatures. Each one of the “portraits” is a representation of a species, but the animals portrayed do not actually exist. They emerge from her fascination with line, form, colour, patterning, and the juxtaposition of positive and negative space.

The circular shapes, reminiscent of radar screens, represent the wireless communication that humans have invented over the last 75+ years. Batut asks, “How are these radio frequency wave systems interfering with animals that rely on bio sonar? What is the effect on humans, plants, wildlife, marine life and even a tiny moth?”

About the Artist

Marie-Frances Batut is a long-time South Surrey resident. She has been exhibiting throughout the Pacific Northwest since 1991 and is active in the Surrey arts community. Influenced by nature and the environment of her youth, she has created a continually-evolving symbolic visual language to express her thoughts and ideas.

Batut's work is bold, colourful, graphic, symbolic, often humorous and appears deceptively simple in terms of execution. However, her paintings are the result of layer upon layer of colour, form and pattern, structured according to her own individual mathematical logic. She is fascinated by nature and the endless variety of the forms encompassed by the biological world.