Even A Fly Has A Soul, 2020
Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle 260 luster paper
12 x 16 inches (30.5 x 40.6 centimeters)
Edition of 25
© Michelle Charles, 2020.
In our current world, we are often bombarded with news items and collective traumas that take us away from our every-day peacefulness. The fly with its fleeting presence somehow represents the fragility and preciousness of our lives. Flies land and take off and land again, rarely sitting still for long.
Charles found the inspiration for this series from a Talmudic saying “Even A Fly Has A Soul’. The message of how we need to respect all people spoke to her when she first conceived this work during the Iraq war. In Kabbalistic thinking, our soul comes back again and it might be a mistake to swat a fly who also has a soul.
Today, despite the trauma and fear that's prevalent, there is a craving for security in a world full of insecurity, a craving for permanence in a setting of impermanence, and a call to respect all human life. This beautiful fly with its transparent wings comes and goes. Whereas we cannot hold on to certainty, we can, Charles says, slow down and begin to see the beauty that surrounds us when we take the time to sit still and observe what is right in front of us.