Fly drawings – gesture drawings made from observation, about 210 x 297mm
I have previously practiced walking drawing (after David Lilburn) and sometimes teach it to students as a way of engaging with the world in a more open, empathetic way.
“This means, of course, that in the dark there are far, far more moths out and about than ever there are butterflies during the daytime: it’s just that we don’t see them. Or at least, we didn’t, until the invention of the automobile. The headlight beams of a speeding car on a muggy summer’s night in the countryside, turning the moths into snowflakes and crowding them together the faster you went, in the manner of a telephoto lens, meant that the true startling scale of their numbers was suddenly apparent, not least as they plastered the headlights and the windscreen until driving became impossible, and you had to stop the car to wipe the surfaces clean.”
“Of all the myriad displays of abundance in the natural world in Britain, the moth snowstorm was the most extraordinary, as it only became perceptible in the age of the internal combustion engine. Yet now, after but a short century of existence, it has gone… If you drove down any kind of hollow way, like a country way with hedges on both sides, you would be driving through a terrific mass of insects, and now that never happens.”
“It was in the millennium year, 2000, that I myself began to write about it as part of the issue of insect decline as a whole, which seemed to me to be wide-ranging and extremely serious – the honeybees and the bumblebees were declining, the beetles were disappearing, the mayflies on the rivers were plunging in numbers – but very under-appreciated: no one was interested in it.”
“…since the butterfly recording schemes first started, nearly three-quarters of our fifty-eight remaining species have declined and disappeared over much of the country.” Michael McCarthy – The Moth Snowstorm 2015
oval drawing, charcoal on board, collection NUI Galway