Reveal Big Skies: Anna Kirk Smith Open Studio

Arch-Port-Du-Moulin

Port du Moulin Arch by Anna Kirk-Smith

Anna Kirk-Smith will be opening up her house in Bridlington and showing new work during Reveal 2011 Open Studios.
She is open over the weekends of 1st/2nd & 8th/9th October, from 10am - 5pm each of those days, and all are welcome.

Estuarine Forms
Estuarine Forms by Anna Kirk-Smith

She says:
"It has been diverse and exciting times for me, so you will get to see works from my Artists for Nature trip to Sark, artworks drawn underwater from a collaboration with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the showcase of a piece in progress for Ghosts of Gone Birds London exhibition, and other pieces conceived outside from often blustery and wet excursions around the coast of Britain."

Geological Medley - Dixcart Bay
Geological Medley - Dixcart Bay by Anna Kirk-Smith

For more information about the event you should visit www.reveal-art.org 
Anna's address to visit is:
6 Mayfield Road, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO15 3LE
Google Map YO15 3LE

David Measures 1937-2011 RIP

David Measures


We’ve just received the very sad news that David Measures has died. I was fortunate that David was my accessor at the RCA and that he was a selfless supporter of myself and Debbie, our work and our gallery, and many other artists and students. I've had many interesting and amusing conversations with David, including the story of how his pet barn owl would bite his ankles whilst he was trying to use the loo. I last spoke to David in February and I was going to ring him to talk about his wonderful butterfly drawings, but alas have left it too late. We're both feeling very sad.

Butterflies by Mweasures


David's obituary in the Telegraph.

WWT Slimbridge: Peter Scott: Bewick's Swans by Dafila Scott

Dafila Scott Bewick's

Bewick's Swans at Dusk by Dafila Scott

Peter Scott’s daughter Dafila Scott is exhibiting Bewick's Swans at Dusk at WWT Slimbridge. The exhibition runs from the 7th of August to the 9th of September, and features work by the Scott family. Including Peter Scott, Nicola Scott and Dafila Scott.

After training as a zoologist, Dafila turned to drawing and painting. Most of her work is inspired by landscape that features animals or places with which she has become familiar. As a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, she has exhibited regularly at their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries as well as at regional shows. She has also illustrated books and articles.

Working mostly in oils, sometimes water colours and more recently pastels, she paints either from life or from a combination of field sketches and memory. She has taken courses with painters and art teachers and is especially grateful for the inspirational teaching of Robin Child.

Recent work includes both figurative wildlife paintings and abstract landscapes inspired by visits to Kibale Forest in western Uganda and to the South Amin Kalahari. However, she is equally happy to gain inspiration at home in the garden or on the surrounding fen land.

Bird Art by Fiona Clucas

Greengate

Greengate Garden, Autumn by Fiona Clucas

Fiona Clucas has provided the Land Gallery with three new pieces of work. Click here to see bird art and landscapes by Fiona.

Artists for Nature: Art for the Love of Sark

Sark_Land_Gallery

The artists participating in the Artists for Nature Foundation’s Jubilee Project

4th to 16th May 2011.


The international non-profit organisation Artists for Nature Foundation, ANF founded in 1990 in The Netherlands, have chosen the beautiful and unique, car-free Channel Island of Sark as the location for their fifteenth project. The ANF are a unique organisation who draw the attention of policy-formulators and decision-makers to the natural world by enabling groups of influential and talented artists to capture the spirit of endangered landscapes and species in their natural habitat through art.

Since the summer of 2009, Sarkee and artist Rosanne Guille (a graduate of the Royal College of Art) has been working with the ANF, planning and fundraising for a project which will bring 15 of these “Artists for Nature' to paint, draw and sculpt in Sark for ten days from 4th May 2011.

The project named 'Art for the Love of Sark' will involve the artists recording all aspects of island life from its rich and unspoilt natural history to the human aspect. The artists will come from all parts of the world, from Russia and the USA to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and among them the award-winning President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Harriet Mead. A full list of the participating artists can be seen at www.sarkpaintings.com under 'current projects blog'.

During the artists visit, from the 3rd day on, there will be daily showings of their work to the public and some of the artists will work with the children of Sark school encouraging their own interest in art and nature. As with other ANF projects around the world, it is hoped that there will be sufficient funding for a project book to be published, and a film and travelling exhibition to raise awareness of what a special and unique, though fragile island Sark still is.

Donations from the residents and businesses of Sark and Guernsey have enabled the first artists visit in May to go ahead. The artists will be staying at Stocks Hotel where rooms have been kindly donated for their stay. What better way of celebrating nature than through the eyes of some of the world's most talented contemporary artists.



KIM ATKINSON (UK)

Studied at Falmouth School of Art and The Royal College of Art in London. A painter/printmaker and member of the Society of Wildlife Artists. She lived for many years on the island of Bardsey off the coast of Wales and her work has been exhibited widely in Wales and England.

PETER GABRIEL BYRNE (IRL)

Singer/songwriter living and working on the Island of Sark. In the ’90s he played regularly on the London folk scene, including gigs at Ronnie Scott’s and the Twelve Bar Club. His work has featured on albums along side Martin Stephenson and Clive Stubblefield (James Brown’s drummer)

JAAP DEELDER (Netherlands)

A self-taught artist working in wood and stone, his carvings are inspired by nature, especially birds. Jaap was awarded the best sculpture prize by the Society of Wildlife Artists in 1991.

PIET EGGEN (Netherlands)

Studied at the Art Academy of Maastricht. Works as a freelance illustrator for nature magazines and advertising. Lives in the Netherlands where he runs a gallery specializing in art inspired by nature.

ROSANNE GUILLE (UK)

A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London. Works mostly in watercolour. Published work includes English Nature, Usborne children’s books and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Teaches art and runs La Maison Rouge gallery on the island of Sark.

ANDREW HASLEN (UK)

Works as a painter of wildlife and domestic animals. During his career Andrew has won several awards for his work. He runs the Wildlife Art Gallery in Lavenham, Suffolk.

ANNA KIRK-SMITH (UK)

Anna Kirk-Smith, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, takes her inspiration from the natural world particularly from coastal and marine environments. In 2010 she won a grant from The Wildlife Trusts in association with The Society of Wildlife Artists to learn to scuba dive. She is a director of an arts development company and lectures in Fine Art at Hull School of Art and Design.

DAVID LYNN-GRIMES (USA)

Writer and musician living and working in Alaska. Has worked on films as co-producer and wildlife film guide with the National Geographic, Survival Anglia and BBC. He has participated in ANF projects in Alaska, Spain and Israel.

HARRIET MEAD (UK)

Has won major awards for her sculptures of animals and birds which she makes from scrap steel and disused tools. Elected President of the Society of Wildlife Artists in 2009. Works mostly to commission.

BRUCE PEARSON (UK)

Worked for RSPB film unit and British Antarctic Survey before becoming a full-time artists and illustrator. He has written and presented two television series. Former president of the Society of Wildlife Artists.

XAVIER PICK (UK)

”I have been diligently keeping a visual diary for 15 years now, everyday a page or two of notes and drawings. These books have been a passport to many worlds, a living portfolio for others to see who you are. Unlike taking a camera which shuns people away, folk are drawn to someone working in their book.”

JOHN THRELFALL (UK)

John has worked with the British Geological Survey, he paints wildlife and birds ‘in the field’ and has undertaken commissions for the RSPB, The National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. His book ‘Between the Tides’ documents his response to Britain’s estuaries in pencil, paint and poetry.

MATTHEW UNDERWOOD (UK)

Matthew Underwood produces eye-catching works in collage, mixed media and oil. He finds that it is often a tiny piece of information, which may trigger an idea for a work – at the 2002 SWLA exhibition, Matthew won the RSPB Fine Art Award.

WOLFGANG WEBER (GERMANY)

Draws from his personal encounters with wildlife, travelling often with just a sketchbook. Has exhibited widely including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Zurich and Nairobi. Two successful films have been made about his work, ‘A brush with nature’ and ‘Drawn to the Wild.’

DARREN WOODHEAD (UK)

A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and one of Britain’s leading watercolour artists. His work has won many major national awards including ‘Birdwatch magazine artist of the year 2009′

JONATHAN YULE (UK)

A self-taught painter inspired by nature, birds in particular. Most of his work is privately commissioned. He has been involved in several ANF projects and narrated the film for Pyrenees and the promotional film ‘Unspoilt Sark’

Abernathy by Chris Rose now sold out


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Abernathy Sold

Abernethy by Chris Rose is now sold out.

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Katrina van Grouw née Cook: Metal Plate Engraving


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Katrina van Grouw née Cook discusses metal-plate engraving, and its use for natural history illustration, for London’s Natural History Museum

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New work by Jane Paige-Leycester

Rock Cleft Skye

Rock Cleft on Skye, watercolour by Jane Paige-Leycester

The Land Gallery has just received a new watercolour by Jane: Rock Cleft on Skye.

Jane is a watercolour artist with a special interest in wild plants and the landscape they inhabit. She trained as a teacher with art as her main subject and continues to teach art in general and botanical illustration in particular.

She is a Founder Member of the
Society of Botanical Artists and a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, London. Her work has been shown with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Royal Watercolour Society open exhibitions. She has illustrated books for the RSPB and BBC Publications. She participated in the Artists for Nature project in Extremadura in Spain and also the New Forest project "Drawn to the Forest". Always interested in natural history, she prefers to work on site, very rarely finishing paintings in the studio.

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Licensing @ The Land Gallery

We can arrange for  licensed use of any of the images used here and other work by The Land Gallery artists. Licensing fees for use of images are based on type of usage, display size, print runs, geographical and language rights. All images are available for rights managed use. High-resolution JPG or TIFF files can be supplied. Fees are negotiable, and discounts are available for multiple images.

Please visit the home page of
Bees in Art for bee inspired art; photography, painting, print, drawings etc. Images are available for licensing for editorial or commercial purposes.

Clients include:

AC & Black
BBC TV
Country Living
Gardens Illustrated
Plantlife International
The Royal Mail
RSPB
Saga Magazine
The Wellcome Trust
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

The Land Gallery and Bees in Art are able to put you in touch with over fifty leading wildlife artists to find the right image to suit your needs. We have sourced images for use in national and regional TV, magazines, newspapers, private clients and Royal Mail stamps. Please telephone today: 0044 (0) 1430 810 239 or Mobile/Cell: 0044 (0) 7930 400 405 or fill in our
contact form and we will get back to you.

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Gary Woods updated work

Mt Cairo

Mount Cairo, photograph by Gary Woods

Gary Woods has provided The Land Gallery with updated photographs. Including Mount Cairo, above. Scene near Lewes, Highgate and 1st Step Pyramid, below.


Lewes HIGHGATEx steppyramid

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Sark: Artists for Nature: Jubilee Project

ANF
CHANNEL ISLAND OF SARK TO HOST
JUBILEE PROJECT
ARTISTS FOR NATURE FOUNDATION'S


The international non-profit organisation Artists for Nature Foundation, ANF founded in 1990 in The Netherlands, have chosen the beautiful and unique, car-free Channel Island of Sark as the location for their fifteenth project. The ANF are a unique organisation who draw the attention of policy-formulators and decision-makers to the natural world by enabling groups of influential and talented artists to capture the spirit of endangered landscapes and species in their natural habitat through art.

Since the summer of 2009, Sarkee and artist Rosanne Guille (a graduate of the Royal College of Art) has been working with the ANF, planning and fundraising for a project which will bring 15 of these “Artists for Nature' to paint, draw and sculpt in Sark for ten days from 4th May 2011.

The project named 'Art for the Love of Sark' will involve the artists recording all aspects of island life from its rich and unspoilt natural history to the human aspect. The artists will come from all parts of the world, from Russia and the USA to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and among them the award-winning President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Harriet Mead. A full list of the participating artists can be seen at www.sarkpaintings.com under 'current projects blog'.

During the artists visit, from the 3rd day on, there will be daily showings of their work to the public and some of the artists will work with the children of Sark school encouraging their own interest in art and nature. As with other ANF projects around the world, it is hoped that there will be sufficient funding for a project book to be published, and a film and travelling exhibition to raise awareness of what a special and unique, though fragile island Sark still is.

Donations from the residents and businesses of Sark and Guernsey have enabled the first artists visit in May to go ahead. The artists will be staying at Stocks Hotel where rooms have been kindly donated for their stay. What better way of celebrating nature than through the eyes of some of the world's most talented contemporary artists.

Nature Blog Network

WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS OF UNIQUE AND EXQUISITE ORCHIDS and other plants of the Himalayas by HEMLATA PRADHAN

Pradhan ExhibitionOrchids

WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS OF UNIQUE AND EXQUISITE ORCHIDS
and other plants of the Himalayas
by HEMLATA PRADHAN

17 March - 1 May 2011
Opening Reception Thursday 17 March 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Serindia Gallery
O.P. Garden
Soi Charoenkrung 36
Charoenkrung Road
Bangkok 10500
Thailand
Tel: 02 238 6410
serindiagallery@gmail.com

Botanical illustration is a genre that reflects the development of art and science for over 500 years. In the Renaissance there was an interest in naturalism and expeditions that left Europe in search for new lands led to new discoveries of plant species. In the 17th and 18th century, botanical art gained popularity in the west, especially England and Scotland where gardening became popular among aristocrats who began collecting and cataloguing exotic and native plants. Sadly, this painting genre has begun to fade in modern times.

This exhibition features watercolour paintings by India's foremost botanical painters - HEMLATA PRADHAN. A gifted child in the Pradhan family that has run orchid nursery for three generations in the hills of Kalimpong, Sikkim, Hemalta Pradhan graduated with a diploma in botanical illustrations from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with scholarship from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Canada, and a Master's Degree in Natural History Illustration from the Royal College of Art, London, with scholarship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, London. It is rare in modern days to see such a talent in botanical illustrations: orchids and plants are alive in her paintings, which also are scientific records of vanishing species.

Amongst some large works of orchids in habitat, other paintings in the show include Bailey's Himalayan Blue Poppy, studies of Himalayan Cobra Lilies, and also a painting of Himalayan Blue Bamboo from the collection of her father Udai C. Pradhan, one of India's renowned botanists.

Pradhan's works have been exhibited at the British Museum and are in the collection of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. The Kingdom of Bhutan also commissioned her for its orchid stamps.

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Land Gallery Links: today we added...

We are currently updating The Land Gallery’s link page. Please keep looking. Today we added:

Birds

Birdwatch: The Home of British Birding.
Birdwatching: The UK's favourite birding magazine.
Bird Fair: The British Birdwatching fair is the world's first and largest International birdwatching event.
Bird Life International: Cross-border conservation vital to protect birds in a climate change world.
British Birds Magazine: British Birds is a monthly journal for all keen birdwatchers.
British Ornithologists Union: Volunteer surveyors, members and staff working in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitat.
Surf Birds: The World birding website.

Museums & Galleries

Artist's for Nature: Bringing renowned international artists to endangered locations where artwork is made based on nature conservation.

Other Interest

BBC Wildlife Magazine: Welcome to BBC Wildlife Magazine: the best wildlife and nature photographs.
Butterfly Conservation: Saving butterflies, moths and our environment.
Fauna and Flora International: Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a proven conservation innovator that continues to make a lasting impact on global biodiversity.
The Wildlife Trusts: Protecting wildlife for the future.
The Woodland Trust: The UK's leading woodland conservation charity.
Wildlife and Wetlands Trust: Saving wetlands for wildlife and people.
Wildscape: The Journal of Wildlife Art and Conservation.
World Wildlife Fund: WWF protects endangered wildlife and environments, tackles climate change and promotes sustainable use of resources.

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New Land Gallery Links

We are currently updating The Land Gallery’s link page. Please keep looking. Today we added:

Organisations

Painted Dog Conservation: Working to conserve and increase the range and numbers of the painted dog (Lycaon pictus) in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.

Other Interest

Bees in Art You Tube Channel
Surf Birds: The World birding website.
Sark Paintings blog: Regular blog by Sark (Channel Islands, UK) artist, Rosanne Guille.
UK Moths: UKMoths is the definitive online guide to the moths of Great Britain and Ireland.
Wildlife Art Journal: The Art of Nature Connecting the World.

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Professor John Norris Wood: Southampton University

Toad Walking
Toad Walking by John Norris Wood


The Land Gallery would like to extend its warm congratulations to John Norris Wood who has been awarded a Professorship by Southampton University. Formerly the visiting Professor of Natural History illustration at the Royal College of Art, John celebrated his award by running a drawing class at the University. Seven birds of prey were brought into the studio to be drawn by students, according to John's keen desire for artists to know wildlife through drawing. Some of the birds of prey were allowed to fly freely in the drawing studio.

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Seabird Drawing with John Busby

John Busby Seabird Drawing Week 2011

Busby Gannets
Gannets by John Busby


A field sketching and painting week based at North Berwick on the Firth of Forth

18th - 25th June 2011

Course leaders: John Busby, David Measures, Anna Kirk Smith and Darren Woodhead

This is an opportunity for enthusiasts with experience of field sketching to gather for a week of drawing and painting among many seabird sites in the area: Bass Rock, Fidra, Dunbar, St. Abbs Head, Tyringhame, Aberlady Bay. Artists can opt to do their own thing or join others on visits to seabird sites. John Busby, David Measures, Anna Kirk Smith and Darren Woodhead will all be on hand if anyone would like help or guidance with drawing or painting in the field, and we hope to offer optional evening activities.

Contact Mark Boyd for more information.

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Tiger Tiger Burning Bright: David Koster's Tigers

Koster Tiger Koster Tiger

Limited edition Tiger woodcuts by David Koster

The Tiger
William Blake

Tiger Tiger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger Tiger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Alexis Rago @ Opem: Lincoln The Collection

Rago

‘I Tremble at the Sound of Your Footsteps’ by Alexis Rago on view at Opem: Lincoln The Collection 05 Feb 2011 to 03 May 2011

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Links @ The Land Gallery

We are currently updating The Land Gallery’s link page. Please keep looking. Today we added: The Natural History Museum, RSPB, Nature in Art, Artists for Nature and Maywood’s Mezzotint Copper Plate.

If you would like to exchange links with The Land Gallery, please feel free to contact us for consideration.

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Frogs & Newts @ The Land Gallery: John Norris Wood

Smooth Newt

Frogs & Newts @ The Land Gallery: Smooth Newts by John Norris Wood

John was formerly a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art, within the Natural History Illustration and Ecological Studies post graduate course, which he founded over 30 years ago. He trained at the East Anglian School of Art & Design, Goldsmiths and the RCA where he gained a degree with honours and a silver medal for zoological drawings.

He has exhibited his works of Art throughout the UK including the
Victoria and Albert Museum, Redfern Gallery, Natural History Museum, Royal Academy, and the Society of Wildlife Artists.

Alongside producing beautiful books for children, John has worked as a freelance illustrator for
London Zoo, the Post office and the Radio Times.

Apart from his outstanding artistic abilities John is also a tireless enviromentalist.

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Bees in Art has been updated

Bees in Art Apiary

The Land Gallery’s sister gallery: Bees in Art has been updated. Please visit to see art inspired by bees.

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Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: Jessica Oreck: Myriapod Productions

bqct_postcard_front

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: Jessica Oreck: Myriapod Productions


In this guest post, filmmaker Jessica Oreck answers a few questions about her documentary Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo. The film, which delves into the ineffable mystery of Japan's age-old love affair with insects, is currently playing in theaters around the world and will air on PBS's Independent Lens series in the U.S. in May 2011.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo Trailer from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.




Where did the idea to make Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo come from?

I was helping out in a classroom where a guest speaker, a young Japanese woman, was talking about different elements of Japanese culture. She mentioned, in passing, that people in Japan love insects. I have loved insects since I was a little girl, so my interest was immediately piqued. I studied filmmaking, biology, and ecology in university, and I knew I wanted to make films about ethnobiology (the way human cultures interact with the natural world), so this was the perfect film with which to start.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

I raced to start my research but there was nothing about this phenomenon in English. Reluctantly, I set the idea aside. But only two days later, my sister is sitting in an airport in Baltimore, and she and the young man sitting next to her strike up a conversation. He is a bicultural Japanese American entomologist who travels around the US giving talks about Japanese love of insects. Um, providence? During our first phone call I told Akito Kawahara that I wanted to make this movie. He said something along the lines of, “Cool. We can stay at my parents house and I’ll introduce you to all of my beetle collecting friends.” It wasn’t quite as easy as that makes it sound, but it really feels like the stars aligned for this particular project.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

How did you produce this film, and what are some of the challenges you overcame in the process?

Thanks to Akito, most of our subjects were chosen far in advance. We were also a really small crew: myself (recording sound), my boyfriend, Sean Price Williams, as camera, and then my best friend Maiko Endo as translator. So the actual production was, well, a blast. But determining the structure of the narrative, that was a bit more complicated. I knew I didn’t want main characters – I was more interested in the movements of social masses. I also had no intention of a formal narrative arc. I had a mystery, and I wanted to solve it, but I wasn’t going to force it into the conventions of a ‘story.’ I wanted to move backwards through time, uncovering clues that would point to how this cultural phenomenon came into being. I started with that idea and eventually the form of a filmic spiral shaped itself in my head – one that would move three-dimensionally around the subject (insects in Japanese culture through time), while allowing the periphery (history, philosophy, religion) to inform the framing.
I did extensive research before traveling to Japan – I drafted a 20-page essay containing pieces of Japanese history and philosophy that I wanted to include in the film. As the editing process progressed I continued to refine the ‘essay,’ skimming off outer details. That shortened essay (at three and a half pages) was translated into Japanese and became the voice over. Between editing the footage and writing and editing the narration, it was a very organic process. Everything just seemed to fall into place.

In general, what kind of relationship do Japanese kids have with the insect world, and how does this compare with the relationship most American kids have?

A Japanese child’s relation to insects isn’t that different from an American’s child connection – if you catch them young enough. Most young children don’t have an innate fear of bugs (from my experience watching thousands of them pass through the butterfly vivarium at the American Museum of Natural History). It isn’t until they see the dad flinch or the mom scream that they learn disgust or fear. What’s different with Japanese children is that they are encouraged to explore the insect world.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

They keep them as pets, their dads take them on insect collecting trips, and they travel halfway across the country to watch the fireflies emerge at dusk. Of course I am really generalizing – but the phenomenon is generally quite widespread. I think that an individual’s understanding of the natural world is still mostly directly absorbed through the behavior of the people he or she admires, and that that is one of the reasons why this connection to insects continues to thrive in Japanese culture.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo


Did the people you met think it was odd that you, an American filmmaker, were so interested in this particular aspect of Japanese culture?

Everyone seemed happy to have us, though they were often confused by why we were making this film. We got a lot of, “What? They don’t sell beetles in America?”

What can this film teach Westerners about Japanese culture and values? What do you hope will really resonate with your viewers?

Those are big questions. What I have learned from Japanese culture that I think about most often is the concept of mono no aware. Essentially, mono no aware is the appreciation of beauty that is transient. For instance, to the Japanese, cherry blossoms are the most beautiful when they are falling. But mono no aware has implications outside of this definition. It isn’t necessarily limited to beauty – it is also about focusing on each moment as it passes. It sounds hackneyed to say “appreciate the moment,” but making Beetle Queen has helped me do that (at least more often than I used to).

I hope this is something viewers take away from the film as well, but I don’t want to limit the potential influences it could have. I have seen many diverse reactions. Plenty of people have been surprised by the loss of their fear, or by newfound knowledge, or a novel appreciation of beauty in unanticipated facets of their lives. But my favorite story is of a World War II veteran who approached me after a screening of Beetle Queen. He said something to the effect of, “For fifty years I have thought of the Japanese as my enemy. And in the past hour and a half, you have changed that.”

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Happy New Year 2011


Happy New Year 2011 from the Land Gallery

Gillmor Plovers

Ringed Plover Quartet by Robert Gillmor

New limited edition linocuts supplied by Robert Gillmor, available in The Land Gallery. Please visit Robert’s page here.

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