CATERPILLAR ARTIST OF THE WEEK - Mielle Harvey
Mielle Harvey, a New England born artist, jeweler, and sculptor, draws her inspiration from nature, but not always in the way we are used to. Harvey often depicts and celebrates the "harsh realities" inherent in the natural world and the struggle to survive, and finds beauty not just in what is conventionally pretty, but in some of the most intimate, complex, and at times unsettling of interactions.
"...nature, with its beauty and harsh realities, provides the inspiration for my work. By combining elements and sometimes materials which both attract and repulse, I aim to challenge the viewer to question the traditional values associated with beauty and adornment.” - Mielle Harvey (www.mielleharvey.com)
When I came across Harvey's work online, seeing pieces depicting parasitism, invasive species, and venomous spines, I was immediately taken with it. I often try to convince our audiences at TCL programs that interactions like those between a caterpillar and its parasitoids can be, in a sense, beautiful. That these relationships, and their associated moments, such as when a bunch of wriggling braconid wasp larvae erupt out of a hornworm and start spinning cocoons, provide one of our clearest windows into the true substance of what defines ecology and drives evolution. I am happy to have discovered this body of work from an artist who sees beauty in some of the most emotionally challenging of natural topics.
- Sam TCL Executive Director