Our Lady Of The Flowers

IMG_20170611_174032_065

This one started differently, and with a lot of stumpwork again.

IMG_20170614_183124_340

After it was confirmed that I would have my work on display at Onca Gallery for their Remembrance Day for Lost Species I wanted to make an Extinct Icon that specifically related to their theme for this year – Pollinators.

IMG_20170615_182906_136

I knew immediately that it had to be a fruit bat. The importance of bats as a species has been close to my heart since I took part in a conservation project in Malaysia in my early 20s.

IMG_20170617_175813_105

Bats are the bees of the tropical world, is something I’m fond of saying.

IMG_20170618_174217_601

Three of the most important crops they pollinate are cocoa, banana and agave, amongst over 500 others we in the west are used to enjoying.

IMG_20170619_190015_073

Bats are massively threatened by habitat loss – rainforests cut down for palm oil plantations being a big one.

IMG_20170620_170007_838

So I was inspired by religious iconography from the tropical world, usually the Virgin Mary surrounded by very colourful flora and fauna (think Our Lady of Guadalupe).

IMG_20170621_224239_496

I’ve not made detached slips so heavily beaded before and they were obviously a lot heavier than just embroidered ones.

IMG_20170622_190255_559

I knew this one would be smaller given the comparative scale of a bat’s skull so I switched to my hoop.

IMG_20170623_185020_456

IMG_20170624_162448_626

IMG_20170625_174935_400

IMG_20170626_173039_316

The moon is a nod to the nocturnal habits of this species.

IMG_20170627_170912_395

IMG_20170628_170649_967

As is the starry sky here.

IMG_20170629_160912_580

Assembly…

IMG_20170630_184440_153

To combat the heaviness of the slips they were both plunged to the reverse as well as sewn along the sides, creating sort of cups.

IMG_20170701_182007_534

IMG_20170703_184912_241

In the United States bats provide an estimated $3.7bn in insect control, but in much of the rest of the world they are woefully under researched.
Many pollinating species of bats have already become extinct, like the Dark Flying Fox of Mauritius and Reunion, or the Guam Flying Fox, due to hunting from settlers, or habitat loss from mono culture farming like oil palm. But we just don’t know how many species may be threatened.

*** 25th November Masterclass is SOLD OUT!
BUT the good news is, due to popular demand I’m running another one on 2nd December! Only 3 spots left so move fast if you wanna make your own homage to the pollinators – details here!***

One thought on “Our Lady Of The Flowers

  1. Pingback: Saint Benjamin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s