Beauty and the Beasts; falling in love with insects
Fascination or fear? Disgust or delight? We all have opinions about insects
Our reactions may be based on personal experience, instinct, influenced by news stories, films or mythical tales. A world without insects would, in the end, be a world without people. Our exhibition Beauty and the Beasts; falling in love with insects invites you to take a closer look at the world of insects.
Bringing together hundreds of insects from our Entomology collection together with the work of scientists and artists to explore their curiosity and care for these extraordinary creatures, the exhibition invites you to encounter the beauty in these beasts. Beauty and the Beasts; falling in love with insects includes works from artists passionate about sharing stories of insect conservation, scientific illustrations that are as visually appealing as pieces of fine art and objects from our Living Cultures collection showing how insects have inspired us through the ages.
This exhibition highlights the vast majority of insects are not only harmless to humans, but vital for maintaining earth as we know it. This is part of the museum’s mission to build a sustainable world. Insects keep ecosystems working and are the food of the world, but are under threat. Recent news of a global decline in the number of species and stories about pesticides that harm pollinators, raise awareness of some of the important but invisible work that insects do.
One example in the exhibition is the story of the Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius), which was brought back from the brink of extinction. Twenty years ago, the Fen Raft Spider had only been found at three sites in Britain and was under threat of extinction. Ecologist Dr Helen Smith spearheaded conservation of this large, handsome spider for many years, even hand-rearing and releasing thousands of spiderlings to bring it back from the brink. Beauty and the Beasts; falling in love with insects features work by fine artist Sheila Tilmouth who collaborated with Dr Helen Smith on a Fen Raft spider artist residency and shows how visual art can tell the story of a charismatic creature that few of us will get to see in its natural habitat.
You can experience Manchester Museum's exhibition 'Beauty and the Beasts' digitally with QR technology and NFC (Near Field Communication) by holding your phone up to the tag or using your camera. Unlock accessible resources such as enhanced audio, video and other digital content relating to the objects.
Descriptions of displays and objects will be read aloud while images can be enlarged directly on your device. Start with the introductory panel which has been translated into several languages.
If you are not able to visit the exhibition or wish to see this before or after your visit just follow the link below
November 2019 – November 2020