Tuesday, July 23, 2013

FOR THE LOVE OF BUGS

Photo detail of  art aseemblage Home by Elizabeth Gordon

I have been in love with bugs as long as I can remember.  My Mother the biologist and science teacher invited us into her classroom when she invited us into the world.  She told us stories of insect, gave them names and explained how they lived and the good they did for us all.  She told us how important they were to the world through her stories.  Grandaddy Long Legs who lived in the bath tub, who would pop down the spout only to pop up again after water drained out.  The doodle bugs who live in Mississippi dirt and made holes in the ground. There is even a childrens saying...Doodle bug, doodle bug, your house is on fire....  She taught us how to catch Black Widow Spiders safely at young age.  We learned about ant hills and had ant farm so we could watch how industrious they were.  My brother had a wonderful butterfly collection and many after noons were spent in the Mississippi woods with a net in hand and a little sister following.  There were lessons on preserving and pinning butterflies and so many many things.  I wish everyone could have had our childhood in that way.  A most memorable part of my early education was when I was about 5 years old and my Mother was finishing up her Masters Degree.  My brother and I would go with her to Mississippi State on Saturdays and spend the day while she was in classes.  Our favorite place was the natural history department and display hall.  And yes thee were insects galore!  
As I went on in life those lessons never left me.  Insects continued to fascinate me and still do.  I learned about the art of Joseph Cornell and others who used insects in their work and realized I could too.  I studied the work of Nancy Graves whose Father was an Archeologist and the influence it had on her work. More recently I have become aware of the work of Christopher Marly who uses insects totally in his work.  As I researched more I became aware that insects have been used in art for centuries...more by painting or the use of their properties for making colors in paints that the actual insect.  
But for me, it is the love of the insect..whether by transfer, drawing or the actual preservation of the actual insect.  I just love insects and the huge variety, shape and color of the species.







Artist who uses insects
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