STORIES - Butterflies and Moths
Butterflies and Moths
In our society it would seem that a bag of sterile potting mix is just as good as newly turned earth, or even better than dirt, as you do not have to do much to the potting mix, just plant, add extra fertiliser, spray for anything that looks like it might be alive and away you go. But as a gardener I am very aware that soil is more than just a medium for planting things.
Soil is not sterile… it is a whole biota of teeming life. Read the recent “Call of the Reed Warbler” by Charles Massey to get an understanding of how important living soil, including insect, animal and plant life, is to our food supply:
“Below ground, in a burgeoning mass of life and activity that is tenfold that above ground, fungi, bacteria and other organisms.. create and sustain.. a living, absorbent soil structure; the very heart and essence of healthy farming and landscape function.”
The very essence of the food we eat.
The things that are out of place are the industrial fertilisers and chemicals that are routinely sprayed on a large percentage of our agricultural lands and in our home gardens. These two sculptures are a comment on how we look at nature and for instance, think how beautiful butterflies are... then write music, poems, design fabrics and create dance, celebrating their beauty…….then we kill them… and display the body in a glass case.
The Bogong moth was also an influence, in that these migratory insects were a major indigenous food source and possibly could still be a food source for Australians except that the larva have been absorbing arsenic, from the industrial chemicals and fertilisers in the black soils of Queensland and ingesting large quantities of the adult moth is now dangerous.