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Art

Artist Hubert Duprat Collaborates with Caddisfly Larvae as They Build Aquatic Cocoons from Gold and Pearls

July 25, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) building case (studio view), 1980-2000. Material: Gold, pearls, turquoise. Length: 2.5 cm. Photographer: Frédéric Delpech. Image courtesy of the artist and Art:Concept gallery, Paris and MONA Museum of Old and New Art.

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Right now, in almost every river in the world, some 12,000 different species of caddisfly larvae wriggle and crawl through sediment, twigs, and rocks in an attempt to build temporary aquatic cocoons. To do this, the small, slow-moving creatures excrete silk from salivary glands near their mouths which they use like mortar to stick together almost every available material into a cozy tube. A few weeks later a fully developed caddisfly emerges and almost immediately flies away.

After first learning about caddisflies, self-taught (and self-professed amateur) artist Hubert Duprat had a thought. Had a caddisfly ever naturally encountered a fleck of gold in a river and used it to build a home? And then one step further: what if a caddisfly had only gold and other precious stones or jewels to work with?

Trichoptères, French for the scientific name of the caddisfly, is Duprat’s answer to that question. For years the artist has been collaborating with the tiny insects, providing them small aquariums of gold, turquoise and pearls that the the larvae readily use to construct their temporary homes. Regardless of how creepy crawly you might find the insects, it’s impossible to deny the strange beauty of the final product, tiny gold sculptures held together with silk. Encountering them void of any context, one would assume they were constructed by a jeweler.

Duprat currently has a solo exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania which runs through July 28th, and it should be noticed that is work with caddisflies is only one small aspect of his art practice.

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Trichoptera larva with case, 1980-2000. Material: gold and pearls. Dimension: 0.5 x 1.9 cm. Photographer: Frédéric Delpech. Image courtesy of the artist and Art:Concept gallery, Paris and MONA Museum of Old and New Art.

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Trichoptera larva with case, 1980-2000. Material: gold and pearls. Dimension: 0.5 x 1.9 cm. Photographer: Frédéric Delpech. Image courtesy of the artist and Art:Concept gallery, Paris and MONA Museum of Old and New Art.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case on pedestal. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case on pedestal. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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Trichoptera (caddis larva) case on pedestal. Photographer: Fabrice Gousset.

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A huge thank you to the Museum of Old and New Art and photographer Fabrice Gousset for providing the images for this post. If you liked this, don’t miss the work of (via ARTREBELS)

 

 



Art

Textile Moth and Butterfly Sculptures by Yumi Okita

July 17, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita creates beautiful textile sculptures of moths, butterflies, and other insects with various textiles and embroidery techniques. The pieces are quite large, measuring nearly a foot wide and contain other flourishes including painting, feathers, and artificial fur. You can many of her most recent pieces here. (via the Jealous Curator)

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Photography

Time-lapse Scenes of Swarming Fireflies by Vincent Brady

March 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

This is a fantastic feat of photography and editing by Vincent Brady who shot this montage of firefly timelapses in 2013 at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and around his home in Grand Ledge, Michigan. To make the timelapse Brady had to master several different cameras, learn about photo stacking, 360° panoramas, and even how to pilot a pontoon boat to get all the requisite shots. While we’ve seen several articles here on Colossal featuring long-exposure fireflies it’s still fascinating to see them in motion like this. You can read about Brady’s adventures on his website, and learn more about the science of fireflies on It’s Okay To Be Smart. (via It’s Okay To Be Smart)

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Photography

Gorgeous Macro Photographs of Butterfly and Moth Wings by Linden Gledhill

March 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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A biochemist by training, photographer Linden Gledhill is fascinated by the beauty of infinitesimally small aspects of nature and science, from capturing the flight of insects to exploring the beauty of magnetic ferrofluid. Among his most jaw-dropping images are macro photographs of butterfly wings that reveal complex patterns that look like perfectly organized flower petals. These tiny protrusions are actually scales, similar to what you would find on reptile, though extremely small and fragile. Gledhill’s photography recently inspired an episode of Smarter Every Day where Destin Sandlin learns how to shoot similar photos. (via awkwardsituationist.tumblr.com)

 

 



Art

Artist Aganetha Dyck Collaborates with Bees to Create Sculptures Wrapped in Honeycomb

February 19, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by William Eakin

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Photos by William Eakin

In North America, Europe and many other parts of the world, bee populations have plummeted 30-50% due to colony collapse disorder, a fact not lost on artist Aganetha Dyck who for years has been working with the industrious insects to create delicate sculptures using porcelain figurines, shoes, sports equipment, and other objects left in specially designed apiaries. As the weeks and months pass the ordinary objects are slowly transformed with the bees’ wax honeycomb. It’s almost impossible to look at final pieces without smiling in wonder, imagining the unwitting bees toiling away on a piece of art. And yet it’s our own ignorance of humanity’s connection to bees and nature that Dyck calls into question, two completely different life forms whose fate is inextricably intertwined.

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Born in Manitoba in 1937, the Canadian artist has long been interested in inter-species communication and her research has closely examined the the ramifications of honeybees disappearing from Earth. Working with the insects results in completely unexpected forms which can be surprising and even humorous. “They remind us that we and our constructions are temporary in relation to the lifespan of earth and the processes of nature,” comments curator Cathi Charles Wherry. “This raises ideas about our shared vulnerability, while at the same time elevating the ordinariness of our humanity.”

If you want to learn more I suggest watching the video above from the Confederation Centre of the Arts, and if you want to see her work up close Dyck opens an exhibition titled Honeybee Alterations at the Ottawa School of Art on March 3, 2014. A huge thanks to Gibson Gallery as well as Aganetha and Deborah Dyck for their help. All photos courtesy Peter Dyck and William Eakin.

 

 



Animation Craft

The Golden Age of Insect Aviation

January 27, 2014

Christopher Jobson

This clip has been making the rounds everywhere lately, and for good reason. Just 10 seconds long and guaranteed to put an instant smile on your face. Created by Wayne Unten. (via The Kid Should See This)