Beetles are the largest group of animals in the world and one of the least appreciated. Glass artist Amanda Lawrence and jeweller Elaine Day aim to bring the wonder of beetles to life in this scintillating exhibition, collaborating to create jewellery and glass sculpture which invites us to celebrate, and rethink our attitudes to, these enterprising creatures.
Beetles have been an integral part of human life for thousands of years. Without beetles, we would be up to our armpits in decaying matter and people around the world would lose a vital part of their diets. Beetles have inspired new engineering techniques, new pigments for paints and cosmetics and new security systems. They have occupied a prominent place in myth and legend and their beauty has inspired craftsmen around the world. Actress Ellen Terry famously had a dress made of 1,000 shimmering green beetle wing cases.
“They have even been worn as living jewellery” says Elaine “But we think beetles deserve respect, so we are using the wonderful colours of glass and precious stones to represent them instead of the live beetle!”
Amanda says “People tend not to be interested in creatures as small as beetles, or we just think of them as pests, but if beetles were the size of cats and dogs, we would find them awe-inspiring for their extraordinary shapes and iridescent colours.”
The exhibition has a serious side; as well as celebrating beetles, it also aims to alert visitors to the increasing rarity of many beetles due to loss of habitat, and the risks to the human race of the extinction of too many beetle species.
Below are the dates for you to Meet the Maker for further insights into this intriguing show and links to a couple of videos on making the work.
Meet the Maker
Tuesday 12 June (10.30am to 2.30pm) – Elaine Day
Wednesday 13 June (10.30am to 2.30pm) – Elaine Day
Friday 15 June (11am to 3pm) – Amanda Lawrence
Wednesday 11 July (11am to 3pm) – Amanda Lawrence
Wednesday 18 July (11am to 3pm) – Amanda Lawrence
Amanda will be demonstrating engraving on glass.
Amanda’s Colourful Videos