Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
Tiger swallowtail     ‹ Back to portfolio
Photo of Tiger swallowtail
56 x 43 x 42"        37,481 LEGO elements.        Completed June 6, 2012
Come visit! This sculpture and 26 others are touring the U.S. now through 2014. Over 25 larger-than-life sculptures created with nearly half a million LEGO pieces! Read more and come visit!

This sculpture of an in-flight Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is over 5 feet across and was built with 37,481 LEGO pieces.

The sculpture was installed in April 2012 at Reiman Gardens in Iowa as part of my traveling exhibition, Nature Connects. In October 2012 it will travel to it's next location, so stay tuned for updates!


Building it

The sculpture took over 250 hours to design and build. This turned out to be one of the most time-intensive sculptures I've ever built... because the whole sculpture is on a 45-degree angle, you only ever see a 1x1 corner of each brick... which meant it used a lot more pieces than I ever expected. (I ran out of yellow half way through!)

Each piece is glued one-by-one and a steel armature helps keep the sculpture secured to the ground. Working around diagonal steel bars with rectangular LEGO pieces is a lot harder than you'd think!

The sculpture was assembled in my New York City art studio, then custom-crated in a museum-quality exhibition crate for my new show, Nature Connects, which is currently touring the United States.