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L’antscrape #3 by Ian Bride

L’antscrape #3 by Ian Bride

VAT Included



65 x 40 x 25 cms

Certificate of Authenticity

  • Artist Statement

    Colonies of the Southern Wood Ant (Formica rufa) can contain multiple queens and up to 100,000 female workers, and have a profound impact on the ecology of their habitat, acting as a 'keystone' species. The ants gather plant materials to their nest mounds, where decomposition helps maintain a steady temperature range. Whilst teaching woodland management and crafts Ivan noticed that over time they remove the softest material from pieces of rotting timbers immersed in their nests. So, he has been placing selected pieces in nests, leaving them for 2 or 3 years, then slowly and carefully extracting them, pressure-washing, cleaning, treating, and mounting them to reveal the results of their endeavours. This creates beautiful, unique records of the ants’ symbiotic activities and immediate landscape, and reveals something profound about the nature and structure of wood itself. Yet they are also spiritually uplifting creations of Gaia, and the product of a considerable amount of female work, thereby arguably constituting both real and symbolic materialisations of a form of ecofeminism, albeit one practiced by ants!

  • Artist Bio

    Ian’s creative practice is founded upon many years as an interdisciplinary academic/teacher/researcher/practitioner working in biodiversity conservation, environmental education, and anthropology. He is also a qualified cabinet-maker and teacher of traditional woodland crafts. In 2021 he retired early to explore human/nature discourses through a narrative practice that engages with objects (natural and human-made), representation, and a wide range of processes. He is comfortable experimenting with almost any materials (though mainly wood) and ways of making; whether when ‘releasing’ exotic creatures (alebrijes) from driftwood, ‘getting a grip’ in his punning Touch of Clamp series, or ‘artifying’ ‘objects’ found by others’ (as in Ooops! – his accidental mobile images project).

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