Insects and Lies

This was written for a workshop with children about markings and protection.

The Insects series was made after spending many many hours in a field in Normandy, over several years, looking at the insects, drawing and photographing them, and seeing how these tiny creatures defended themselves.
I noticed that three different insects had similar markings, black and yellow, like our warning signs, and like the markings of wasps and hornets which both have big populations in the area. 

I saw that these creatures were imitating wasps and hornets to look poisonous and dangerous to protect themselves, the biological term for this is Batesian Mimicry. 

I have been making work for some years about protection. How do we protect our precious inner worlds, our sensitive selves, from harm in the world? I made costumes in response to these insects, imitating the imitators. Then I asked people to wear the costumes, and I photographed them.

I also painted worms which have no defence but have to hide in the ground.

I spent so much time in the field that I saw the habits of the Ariope, how it marked its web, each spider differently. 

When danger approached (usually me) the spider shook its web violently, and the movement made the markings look like a bigger creature. So I deduced that the markings on the web were also a defence mechanism. 

And they made nests for their eggs at the end of the summer which are very hard to spot. They guard these carefully.
Here is one 
wrapping up a grasshopper.

All text and photographs copyright Victoria Rance 2014.
please ask permission for use.