Art based on moths found at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve


For me, mothing is a magical experience drawing both humans and insects alike to an illuminated sheet. Drawing moths to light reminds the viewers that there is an inconceivable amount of life around them, even at the latest of hours.
The complexity of moth's wings and the patterns and colors in each species are part of what drew me to tropical moths initially. I later realized as I was mothing that the diversity in species that arrived at the sheet each night is what drew me back. No matter the location, there is always a sizeable turnout with some truly exciting moths.



The materials I used to create the piece were organza, recycled food packaging, embroidery thread, thread, paper, glue, and glass beads. I aimed to create a piece using mainly recycled materials or what was available to me during the pandemic.  I sketched each moth out based on the photographs I took of the species at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in Costa Rica. From those sketches, I cut up the materials into sections that I hoped would best convey the patterns of the insect. After each piece was cut to fit together, I assembled the moth by sewing it onto stiff organza. Over the course of two months, I replicated ten moths from my mothing trip.
Additionally, I had already written a poem about the insect apocalypse prior to making the piece and decided to incorporate a few fraises from that poem on the migration of lepidoptera and natural resources. I incorporated my writing via embroidering on the wings of the moths.

Application of materials
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Having spent two years studying Visual Arts, including fashion and sculpture, at Interlochen Arts Academy, an arts boarding school in Michigan, I had worked a lot with recycled materials, for instance in a collaborative outdoor art installation for Earth Day in 2018.  My love of combining textile art with nature continued in the summer of 2018 while taking a machine embroidery class, "The Noisy Paintbrush," with Susan Levi-Goerlich at the Snowfarm Craft School in Massachusetts.  In this workshop, I discovered new and innovative embroidery techniques and materials. In the fall of 2019, I joined a weekend intensive on embroidery with non-textile material with fiber artist, Jodie Collela, at the Helen Day Art Center in Vermont. With the simple idea that "anything can be embroidered" I eagerly set out to broaden my portfolio. I became interested in moths during the summer of 2019 after taking a course at The North Branch Nature Center with biologist and author Bryan Pfeiffer and Smithsonian Curator Hugh McGuiness. Now I have the perfect subject matter for my art. Three weeks prior to the pandemic lock-down, I spent a week in Costa Rica near the Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, photographing tropical moths at night, which continues to provide me a rich bounty of subjects to choose from.  I currently study with Rhod Island-based teaching artist, Amy Wynne.


Artists that have inspired me are:
Meredith Woolnough, who originally inspired me to dive into textile design and application coinciding with nature. 
Emmet Gowin, with his extensive tropical moth photography that highlights the diversity in species.