As a lifelong night owl, I’ve always been fascinated by the mysterious and magical happenings of the nocturnal world. While most people are asleep, a whole other world comes alive, full of creatures like moths that go about their business unnoticed.
Moths may not seem like a particularly significant or well-known species, but they play a vital role in many ecosystems as part of the food chain and as pollinators of a wide variety of plants.
In many ancient cultures, moths have been seen as symbols of change and transformation, often in negative ways. In Western cultures, moths are often associated with death and decay, while in some Native American cultures they are seen as messengers carrying the souls of ancestors who wish to guide or warn us. Similar associations can be found in Chinese and Japanese cultures, where moths are believed to carry the souls of the dead seeking communication with the living.
In my open series of ‘Messengers’ drawings, I have focused on a number of species of moths that are believed to be extinct. Through these drawings, I hope to bring these species back to life and give them a chance to deliver their message to us, the living.
The drawings were first presented at my ‘Messengers’ exhibition at Zebrastraat in Gent, Belgium in December 2021, and visitors were able to sign up to receive one of the drawings after the show ended. It was important to me that the drawings be sent through the postal services, as befits a message on paper.