Captivating Collaboration: Artist Hubert Duprat Uses Insects to Create Golden Sculptures

Once upon a time, the lar­vae of the Cad­dis Fly were con­sid­ered pret­ty unas­sum­ing crea­tures, fresh­wa­ter dwellers whose appeal was lim­it­ed to trout and trout fish­er­men. That is until French artist Hubert Duprat came along with an aes­thet­ic offer they could­n’t refuse.

Left to their own devices, Cad­dis lar­vae con­struct pro­tec­tive cas­es from nat­ur­al mate­ri­als found in their habi­tat, patch­ing small pieces togeth­er with silken thread. A chance encounter with some prospec­tors at a riv­er in south­west­ern France led Duprat to won­der how the Cad­dis lar­vae might adapt if gold fig­ured more promi­nent­ly among their build­ing sup­plies. Thus began The Won­der­ful Cad­dis Worm: Sculp­tur­al Work in Col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tri­chopteras, an ongo­ing artis­tic exper­i­ment in a care­ful­ly con­trolled, sci­en­tif­ic set­ting.

Basi­cal­ly these birds are spin­ning their own gild­ed cages with what­ev­er lux­u­ry mate­ri­als Duprat intro­duces into their arti­fi­cial envi­ron­ment. The result­ing jew­el encrust­ed cre­ations would not be out of place in a Madi­son Avenue win­dow, though it’s pos­si­ble a near­sight­ed dowa­ger might mis­take the tiny jew­el­er for a cock­roach.


Whether or not one would opt to wear one of these blinged-out insect cas­ings were mon­ey no object, one has to admit their engi­neer­ing is a most unusu­al feat. It would make for one humdinger of a Sci­ence Fair project if only Duprat had­n’t patent­ed the tech­nique in 1983.

via Laugh­ing Squid

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pi in the Sky: The World’s Largest Ephemer­al Art Instal­la­tion over Beau­ti­ful San Fran­cis­co

Artists Turn Weath­er Data into Swirling “Liv­ing Por­traits” of Con­ti­nen­tal U.S. Wind Pat­terns

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is slow­ly fig­ur­ing out how a writer home­schools a graph­ic nov­el enthu­si­ast in sub­jects of a sci­en­tif­ic nature. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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