BUGONIA: insect art by me

On 4th November 2017, I launched my first solo exhibition at Bí URBAN in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7. Here’s what it was all about!

Queen Bee and the Sacred Art of Geometry_Indian Ink Pencil Watercolour_A4_Nessa Darcy

I’ll tell of tiny things that make a show well worth your admiration
Admiranda tibi levium spectacula rerum


Bugonia is an exhibition of visual and sound art by creative entomologist, Nessa Darcy. Nessa aims to reintroduce humans to their natural habitat through colourful encounters with insects. This includes insect surveys, bug-centric learning sessions and art celebrating and promoting these diverse, under-appreciated environmental engineers and spiritual guides.

A substantial portion of the work was created during the Bee Time artists residency. A hive of diverse artists engaged with the themes of natural beekeeping and the bee’s relationship with its environment, through discussion, meditation, movement, skill sharing, storytelling, art making, shamanic practices, farm visits and simply “asking the bees”.

Will I buy this print to match my jacket?
Renata Pekowska ponders the Shamanic Way of the Beetle


Bugonia is an ancient ritual based on the belief that bees could be spontaneously generated from the carcass of an ox, as described in Virgil’s Georgics. To the artist, it represents our tangled relationship with nature. Humans feel, simultaneously, a detachment from factual ecological knowledge; wonder and fear at the forces of nature; and a longing to restore that which we need but have destroyed. The word also sounds like an appropriate name for an insects’ utopia, which we have the power to preserve and create.

Both wonder and knowledge are key to rescuing insects from the rapid decline they are currently suffering, “because we don’t love them enough” (Roger Druitt). To love insects requires understanding who they are and what they need. Nessa’s work draws people in to familiarise themselves intimately with insects.

The exhibition precedes Remembrance Day for Lost Species (November 30th). Designated by ONCA Gallery for art and ecology in Brighton, this annual event is a chance to tell the stories of lost and disappearing species and to renew commitments to those remaining. The theme for 2017 is pollinators.

Queen cells hanging up
Woven “queen cells” – part of my sound installation, Swarm Stories

2 thoughts on “BUGONIA: insect art by me

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