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Bug Balls by Claire Moynihan
Not everyone has the ability to enjoy the intricate beauty that is insects and various other little creepy crawlies, because most people just find them, well, creepy. Insects and gastropods, such as the snail, can be intimidating when in a pack or swarm, but on their own there is so much to be in awe of, whether it’s the explosion of colour on a butterfly’s wings, or wondering how a shell can stay on a body, which looks like it could be made from gummy worms.
Artist Claire Moynihan allows us spectators to better study these intriguing beasts, but in a new way; through embroidery. That’s right! Moynihan creates insects and gastropods as anatomically correct as she possibly can, using only some thread. She mounts them on small little felt balls, and displays them in traditional entomological shadow boxes, like the specimens of old. Her little ‘bug balls’ are specific to the wildlife of the British Isles, but most are recognizable as international pests. Funny enough, Moynihan started her practice with just recreations of moths, aka, ‘moth balls’. 
Now, her collection has expanded; a real infestation if you will, but one I think anybody wouldn’t mind to have. As long as they don’t move!
- Anna Paluch 
Bug Balls by Claire Moynihan
Not everyone has the ability to enjoy the intricate beauty that is insects and various other little creepy crawlies, because most people just find them, well, creepy. Insects and gastropods, such as the snail, can be intimidating when in a pack or swarm, but on their own there is so much to be in awe of, whether it’s the explosion of colour on a butterfly’s wings, or wondering how a shell can stay on a body, which looks like it could be made from gummy worms.
Artist Claire Moynihan allows us spectators to better study these intriguing beasts, but in a new way; through embroidery. That’s right! Moynihan creates insects and gastropods as anatomically correct as she possibly can, using only some thread. She mounts them on small little felt balls, and displays them in traditional entomological shadow boxes, like the specimens of old. Her little ‘bug balls’ are specific to the wildlife of the British Isles, but most are recognizable as international pests. Funny enough, Moynihan started her practice with just recreations of moths, aka, ‘moth balls’. 
Now, her collection has expanded; a real infestation if you will, but one I think anybody wouldn’t mind to have. As long as they don’t move!
- Anna Paluch 

Bug Balls by Claire Moynihan

Not everyone has the ability to enjoy the intricate beauty that is insects and various other little creepy crawlies, because most people just find them, well, creepy. Insects and gastropods, such as the snail, can be intimidating when in a pack or swarm, but on their own there is so much to be in awe of, whether it’s the explosion of colour on a butterfly’s wings, or wondering how a shell can stay on a body, which looks like it could be made from gummy worms.

Artist Claire Moynihan allows us spectators to better study these intriguing beasts, but in a new way; through embroidery. That’s right! Moynihan creates insects and gastropods as anatomically correct as she possibly can, using only some thread. She mounts them on small little felt balls, and displays them in traditional entomological shadow boxes, like the specimens of old. Her little ‘bug balls’ are specific to the wildlife of the British Isles, but most are recognizable as international pests. Funny enough, Moynihan started her practice with just recreations of moths, aka, ‘moth balls’.

Now, her collection has expanded; a real infestation if you will, but one I think anybody wouldn’t mind to have. As long as they don’t move!

- Anna Paluch 

(Source: artandsciencejournal.com)

2 Photos
/ claire moynihan bug balls embroidery insects gastropods art science anna paluch art and science journal bugs
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones
Amy Swartz
In this series, Pests, Amy Swartz made thousands of miniature sculptures made of insect specimens, toy figuring parts and drawings. As Swartz describes how the series started,
“Pest began a few months after my mother died while I was pregnant with my first child. I found a dead dragonfly in my house shortly after she died.  The insect was so still and yet looked alive that it reminded me of the life and death duality I was experiencing.  I saved it and began to collect more dead insects.  Then one day I found some toy soldiers with heads and arms that had fallen off (from an old childhood collection). Comparing the fine details in both the natural and artificial parts, I connected toy arms to a dragonfly and immediately began to imagine a world of these creatures.”
As Swartz creates this series, she describes herself as feeling like a contemporary artist version of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau. She’s feels like she has become obsessive about collecting parts, but this also speaks to another message behind her work— one of overpopulation, extinction and our own pest-like behavior as a species. To see more of the series and her work, click here. 
- Lee Jones

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