Honoring Insects: Death and Rebirth
Thursday, May 23, 2019
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Death is not just the end of life… it also makes new life possible. Join Jess Ellis of Curioscape Designs for a discussion about the tiny organisms that help feed new life through the recycling of death and decay. This class will focus primarily on the insects involved in this role, but it will also touch on some of the other organisms that perform a vital part in the cycle of death and life. You will also meet some of Jess’s pet millipedes, insects that are integral in creating fertile and nutrient-rich soil from decaying vegetation. Come with an open mind and a curiosity for the dark and often hidden parts of our natural world.
Jess is a Denver-based artist who creates small sculptures and jewelry using elements of nature. She finds inspiration in science, magic, and the natural world and explores themes of death, conservation, and the beauty of decay. The materials used in her artwork include insects, bones, moss, flowers, and crystals. She assembles these items into tiny environments called “Curioscapes”. They are inspired by the assemblages of natural curiosities found in the Wunderkammer, or Curiosity Cabinets of sixteenth century Europe.
The artist’s choice of material reflects her desire to highlight the beauty of the darker side of life. Many of the specimens found in her Curioscapes are imperfect, with broken wings, missing limbs, or faded colors. The specimens used in these pieces, found already dead and sometimes in states of decay, are preserved and given new life as pieces of art. Her art serves as a ritual practice, each piece created with intention and love, and honoring the creatures that are preserved within.
Jess holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, and her love of insects has brought her back to school to study biology. She is a volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where she has been trained in pinning, preserving, and identifying insects. She is passionate about conservation and educating others about insects and other living creatures that are vital to our ecosystem.
Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033