I have been fascinated by insects for as long as I can remember, way back before I began working in sculpture and jewellery. Their ‘otherness’ is intriguing, the beauty of some is as undeniable, and yet they are capable of eliciting fear and disgust. Those who are charmed by butterflies and amazed by dragonflies, are horrified by cockroaches, maggots and scorpions. It is this conflict which I explore in my work.
The iridescent beauty of butterflies is captured in my skull pictures, which are painstakingly created using hundreds of wings, to capture their natural colours and shades.
The plants are a mixture of insect wings, legs and abdomens, and tarantula legs. They’re incredibly fragile and echo the inseparable relationship between insect and plant, each needing the other for survival. Here that symbiosis is taken to its limit.
My process is iterative, beginning without a completed design or fixed set of bug-part components. It’s a little like a three dimensional puzzle. I add one component and then the next, until a final piece grows organically from the wings and legs, carapaces and abdomens which are arrayed before me.
More info: kellymccallum.com
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