I realized I never really described the residency I am on. It is an art and science research residency focused on insects. It is not really for art making but for learning and research for your art practice. A lot of artists don’t have access to or get the opportunity to interact with scientists and experts in areas outside of the art world. The Ayatana Artist Research Residency gives the artists that opportunity. It’s a really wonderful experience to be around other artists with common interest and to learn from the experts in this field.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of working with an entomology research associate. She was in her 70’s and has been working with insects her whole life. I loved the passion she still held for the subject and really appreciated what a wonderful teacher she was. The morning was spent learning how to identify the different types of insects by their anatomy. We looked at the insects under a microscope to get a super close look at all the cool parts, and yes that is the scientific way of describing it. The afternoon was spent in the Fletcher Wildlife Gardens catching insects in nests and identifying them.
After returning to the residency house we were treated to a talk and slide show about different artists using live insects in their artwork. It was really fascinating and inspiring to see how other artists are collaborating with nature. Then we headed out after dinner to feed the mosquitoes and search for fireflies. It seems the mosquitoes had more luck then we did as the evening was a bit cool for the fireflies so not many showed up.