I also got to teach at the Wexner Center for the Arts and Columbus School for Girls. At each place I worked with 3rd-5th grade children and we focused on art and nature. My own amazing child was able to participate in both programs. It was a blessing to get to spend so much time with him and his contemporaries this summer.
Dr. Terry Barrett’s course Stories: Narrative Inquiry in Art Education at The Ohio State University offered me a chance to be a student. It was a profound learning experience. This is the link to the blog created http://narrativesinarted.blogspot.com/p/zines.html, featuring the presentations and writings of the participants. It was a one week intensive and on Friday I read a poem I wrote titled Mulberry Leaves and Heroin http://narrativesinarted.blogspot.com/2010/08/brookes-friday-presentation.html
I have continued to create imagery and objects pertaining to houses, silkworms and moths. Two broods of silkworms have completed their cycles since May, and a third brood just hatched on Tuesday, August 31. In this pic you can see them coming out of their freckle sized eggs.
This was taken before the moths started to emerge and lay their eggs. You can see a fully grown silkworm searching for its spot to spin. Many die in this stage, unable to find a place that satisfies them, they use all of their energy seeking.
This female moth is just emerging from her cocoon. She struggled to get out for hours, but found a mate in less than 5 minutes. She never left this little spot and laid her eggs right on her cocoon. You can see her in the bottom right of the image. The vacated cocoon at the top was from her mate.
This is one of the first females that emerged. They "call" by spraying a pheromone to attract a mate. She saturated this whole area before a male emerged and located her. Later, the same mate got confused by the lingering scent and spent the rest of his life searching under the bed. This female had a total of three mates. Two ended up under the bed. You can see the tattered male by the bed post in the center of this image.
She laid her eggs on the bed itself. At first, the eggs are a pale yellow. If fertilized, they turn dark.
This complex object holds life and death. Moth House does as well. Between the two houses I have more than 100 cocoons. This moth got caught in the "web" of the other cocoons that were spun after its cocoon and died in the trap.
I am sorry that so many die as they try to make it to adulthood. I feel sad that they cannot live in the wild and that humans have bred them to have short, flightless wings. But, ultimately, documenting these dramas give me hope. They connect me with the tiny world of insects that most people ignore or reject. Watching helps me understand the human behavior I participate in and witness. And I think their small soft bodies and docile personalities are beautiful.