In praise of the Boring Milipede

Boring Milipede

Erratic Ant

Hornet Robberfly

Orange Roughy

Elegant Earthstar…

Today I am giddy with the found poetry of the names of endangered British species. A member of the Arts & Ecology ning has posted news of an imaginative new artwork by the Ultimate Holding Company collective in Manchester. extInked starts on November 19 November 12 as an exhibition of drawings of 100 endangered species from the UK. From November 26 tattooists start to ink those drawings onto the skin of 100 volunteers. Each illustrated person then becomes an “ambassador” for the threatened species their body plays host to. The exhibition has been arranged with the support of the Marine Conservation Society, Buglife – the Invertebrate Conservation Trust and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

The announcement of the exhibition came with the full list of the 100 species that the artwork was focussing on:

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Soprano Pipistrelle

Noble Chafer

Wormwood Moonshiner Beetle


We tattoo our skin with the names of our loved ones. This artwork seems to question how much we love these declining species. ExtInct makes me think of the project the writer and journalist Caspar Henderson has been working on, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings –The Anthropocene extinction, human imagination, and what comes next. In his explanation for the project he comes out with a brilliant phrase which has stuck in my head ever since I first read it:

Most real creatures that we think we know embody wonders we have hardly dreamt of.

Read more about extInked., (includes the full list of 100 species.)

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

The pansy project: art as a commemoration

queer bashing

“I think it’s time we went gay bashing again!” Grovesnor Street, Manchester by Paul Harfleet

I like the bald poignancy of this ongoing work which I just stumbled on. Paul Harfleet at The Pansy Project plants pansies at the sites of homophobic attacks. Each pansy is named after the incident involved. In his online gallery where the memorials are collected together, the simple images of vulnerable bedding plants sit alongside jarring titles like “Let’s kill the Bati-Man” or“Faggot! Pouf! Bender!” The most poignant of all are the ones with names as titles: For Dwan Price, For David Morley.

The Pansy Project will be at Shout Festival, Birmingham in November 2009.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology