The inspiration for the tapestry “Fellow Americans and Exotic Aliens” came from Bob Sober’s exhibition at the Imperial Center for Arts and Sciences in Rocky Mount, called Small Wonders: insects in focus.

His monumental photographs were awe inspiring in their beauty and dignity. Two adjectives that I would not normally apply to insects. One of the insects photographed, the yellow nose clown lantern fly has a sibling in the USA- the spotted lantern fly which is now the scourge of Virginia and has recently migrated into North Carolina too. These insects are known as exotic aliens.

Before my daughter and I became American citizens, we were designated as legal aliens. There seems to be similarities between the attitudes towards citizens who are called ‘aliens’ and ‘alien’ insects and plants. One of the reasons that exotic insect and plant aliens are regarded as pests is because they have no “natural enemy” in their new environments to keep their populations under control. Once established, some of the exotic aliens can overcome some of the native species.

The yellow nose clown lantern fly
Bob Sober composes his insect portraits from hundreds or even thousands of photographs stacked into a single digital image….then prints the composite images at a relatively monumental scale in comparison to the minute subject matter; some prints in this exhibition are more than 6′ tall…”




woven in two pieces, symetrical but not identical
the yellow nose clown lantern fly in the Garden Fence Gallery

 

Not as large as the monumental photographs of Bob Sober, but this yellow clown nose is still much larger than life.
And obviously would not survive being outside in winter.
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