week 21: Nanci Hersh

The Art  

“Chrysalis 2” ©NanciHersh
Etching, aquatint with gold embossed rubber stamp
image size: 6” x 4”, paper size” 15” x 11”; 


"Chrysalis 2", ©NanciHersh.  Etching, aquatint with gold embossed rubber stamp.

“Chrysalis 2”, ©NanciHersh.
Etching, aquatint with gold embossed rubber stamp.


The Music 

Khrusallis (5:03 mins) © Helen Davey
(for hackbrett, 4 voices, thumb cymbals, percussion, piano, thunder drum)

Artist Notes


Nanci Hersh

A Chrysalis is the stage of a butterfly between larvae and the winged adult.  It is a period of enclosure…of going within…of transformation. I began this small piece as a demonstration for my Printmaking Class at Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ. What began as an exercise in etching and aquatint became a very personal visceral response following surgery and reconstruction for breast cancer 

The lines of the Chrysalis and those wrapping around her were a metaphor for the physicality of surgery and reconstruction. They also suggest fluidity, an unraveling that comes with knowing that these feelings, and this situation, are temporal. Like a caterpillar, that weaves a cocoon around herself and emerges, with time, adorned with wings as a butterfly.  

Helen's hackbrett (hammered dulcimer)

Helen’s hackbrett (hammered dulcimer)

My Music

This artwork jumped out at me – it seemed to have so much to say. I was intrigued by the circular lines around the figure and by the golden marks.

In our communication, I was touched by Nanci’s intuitive process in making this piece and particularly impressed by her conviction and inner knowing of the temporal nature of her chrysalis experience. I wanted to evoke the courage of her conviction.

I titled my music “Khrusallis” which is the Greek word for chrysalis, stemming from the Greek “khrusos” for ‘gold’. 


Thank-you for spending your time here. I welcome hearing from you via the comments section below; Please feel free to share this around to anyone interested in art & music (via those little icons below).

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