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Bug Art

- December 14th, 2006
One of the most bizarre things you’re likely to see this year (or any year) is the new installation of bug art at the Dennos Museum Center: “A Terrible Beauty: Compulsion and Repulsion,” which runs December 10-March 4.
The installation by artist Jennifer Angus features 5,500 exotic insects collected from around the world and arranged in compelling patterns.
Angus’s installations for “A Terrible Beauty” are based around the idea of collecting in Victorian times, the exotic nature of what was collected and the eccentric nature of the collectors themselves. The exhibition at the Dennos Museum Center will be divided into two rooms or galleries – a blue room where the “acceptable” collections of an eccentric collector are housed, and a red room where the “hidden” collections, shown only to certain people, reside. The galleries will feature text quotes from noted figures of the Victorian era such as Charles Darwin and from the literature of the day.
Jennifer Angus creates large-scale installations featuring exotic dried and preserved insects camouflaged within a framework of beautiful designs, usually based on wallpaper or lettered statements where
the letters that make the words are composed of insects.                                                              
Angus is an artist, educator, writer and curator living in Madison, Wisconsin. She has exhibited her work internationally. Three of her pieces are in the permanent collection of the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.
“There is often confusion as to whether the insects in my work are real,” she says. “Yes, they are, although they are dead and dried. The colours are their natural colour. I have not painted them. I have spent considerable time in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia where most of the insects
I work with come from.
“None of these species are endangered,” she adds. “They have been purchased through reputable insect specimen dealers throughout North America, Europe and Asia. They are initially collected by indigenous peoples who live in and around the rain forest.
These people have a vested interest in
protecting the rain forest, for harvesting insects provides a livelihood. Furthermore, it is ecologically sound for they are a renew-able resource. Ever heard the saying that where there is one cockroach there are 100? It’s true and this applies to the vast majority of insect species.”

The Dennos Museum Center is open daily, 10 AM to 5 PM, and Sundays 1-5 PM. Admission is $4 adults, $2 children and free to Museum
members. For more information on the Museum and exhibition, go to www.dennosmuseum.org
or call 231-995-1055.

 
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