Margaret Kyle
Acrylic, Watercolor, Portraits
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Breaking Free

(Triumph Over Addiction)

34 x 14 inches

Mixed Media


“On its way through the innocent night,

The moth is ambushed by the light…

Its dreams of flight and all desire

Trapped in one glazed gaze;

Now nothing else can satisfy

But the deadly beauty of flame.”

Thus begins a poem of blessing to An Addict by Irish poet John O’Donohue from his book “To Bless the Space Between Us” where he uses the image of moths caught by a light or flame to describe addiction. The moth becomes trapped unable to break away. Addiction is an obsession that takes away the ability to be guided by one’s own ‘inner’ light and can even bring about physical death.

In this day and age we are learning more and more about how the brain works in addiction and how genetics and childhood abuse can enter into the equation. It is a complex problem with no one solution. One of the greatest triumphs is the ongoing journey of breaking away from the power of addiction.

The painting was complete, but I wanted to create the moths that had broken away in three-dimensions. As I was working with garlic in my kitchen, I came across some cloves that had dried out and noticed that the cloves had the same shape as a moth’s body. The feathery, papery skin surrounding the cloves resembled moth’s wings. The heads were taken from the bottom of a whole head of garlic and the antennae were the bottom root end of an onion.

Breaking Free