The Art of Science: The Shimmering Insects of Jennifer Angus

Jennifer Angus, Insecta Fantasia
Jennifer Angus, Insecta Fantasia

Bugs crawling up the walls are the stuff of nightmares for many, but they become stunning art in the hands of Jennifer Angus. A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Angus has for years used real, dead insects as her primary artistic medium. Her compositions, which are usually pinned to gallery walls, often refer to Victorian decorative motifs, which in turn recall the insect-collecting habits of 19th century naturalists.

Like them, she gathers her insects from around the world, particularly Thailand and Malaysia. While she notes that none of the insects she uses in her work are endangered species, she hopes that her art will spur an interest in both entomology and rainforest preservation in her audience. The eye-popping colors of her artwork are all natural, she says – she does not enhance the insects with paints or dyes. Angus’ work is on exhibit at the Jack Olson Gallery at Northern Illinois University through February 28, and you can see more on her website.

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