The Fallen Elytrum
18 x 13 cmx, 7” x 5 ¼” (framed) 17.5 x 12.5 cms, 6 ¾” x 5” (unframed)
A hand reaches out from beneath the emerald green turf to a beetle’s elytrum which has fallen from the glistening sky. I was researching the use of beetles’ wings in a historical textile conservation project and was given some jewel beetles’ (buprestidae) elytra (single forewing cases). I would not buy these wings, but decided to use the ones I was gifted because they are significant, poignant and beautiful. They bring to mind many questions. On the one hand they question the context of beauty, protection, adornment, seduction and value. On the other hand they raise considerations around exploitation, appropriation, conservation, preservation, consumption and being discarded as valueless.
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