Elen Delafouge Jones

The Swallowtail


The Large Copper

Large Copper

Watercolour, Markers, Colouring Pencils

The Large Copper has been extinct in the UK since the late 1800s due to habitat loss. In this work I have visually deconstructed every specimen of the Large Copper at the museum and reconstructed them all individually in a variety of ways. The composition of the piece somewhat resembles the way they are kept in columns and rows within a case at the museum.


There are 55 specimens at the museum, and I have represented them in a grid form. The vividness of their colour diminishes to leave 9 blank squares at the bottom of the piece thus, representing their extinction in the UK.

Large Copper detail

The Swallowtail

Hand stitch, graphite and ink

The Swallowtail is a protected species in the UK and its numbers are dwindling. I created a pattern based on the Swallowtail’s wing markings and shape. The book begins with a complete hand stitched outline of this pattern. As the book progresses, stitches are removed until there are no remaining stitches, again representing their conservation status and loss of habitat.


Both my entries are based on butterfly species I am working with as a volunteer at the Cambridge University Zoology Museum. The project I am involved with is called: Butterflies through time: using wildlife of the past to guide conservation of the future. 


Part of the project is to engage the public with the natural world and environmental change. My contribution to this project is to visually communicate these species’ beauty and fragility. I hope my work evokes enquiry and interest in these butterflies and in turn raises awareness of their conservation status and our impact on the loss of their natural habitat. 

Elen Delafouge Jones, Illustration and Book Art MA