Nessa Darcy Creative Entomologist
 

Creative Practice

Art and design celebrating nature and diversity

 
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What's it all about?

I'm back in full art-making swing again after several years of studying and working with extraordinary wildlife. During these years, my creative tendencies still emerged in my every activity. Visual interpretation was key to identifying frogs and geckos. I taught my young Malagasy environmental education students how to draw their native birds and plants. I explored natural instincts through dance, built giant lobster and bird floats for parades, taught English through song and ecology through drama.

Now the urge to create my own work has returned, as a duty, a gift and a longing. Creative expression has the power to heal rifts between the parts of us that have fallen asunder - art and science, body and mind, bringing the outdoors indoors and vice versa. While in the past my work was personal, instinctive, introspective and surreal, my current plans have a more focused, outward aim: to return humankind to its natural ecosystem through colourful encounters with insects.

By gently sparking people's intrigue with stories or shocking them into adoration with a barrage of colour and beauty, I hope to draw people into a desire to understand more of the natural world. Tiny unknown creatures made famous and great in richly coloured splendour. A Christmas card with a nature lesson inside. A silent-disco ladybird sweep. The stories of beekeepers given new, animated life. The speciation of ideas is happening at a rapid rate!

The dream? Insects as celebrity pin-ups, the poster-bugs of a joyful, dynamic conservation movement. Biological recording as popular as Pokémon Go!

Highlights

  • Bugonia, solo exhibition at Bí Urban, Stoneybatter, opening on 2nd November.
  • Rove Beetle, a Dublin Canvas commission, September 2017.
  • More Than Bees: Lesser known tips for pollinator conservation, a participatory video project, August 2017.
  • Bee Time Artist Residency, UK, July 2017
  • Past member and exhibitor at Ormond Studios (2016)
  • Open Studio Crit at Mart Studios (25th July 2016)
  • The Beauty of Bugs, a two page feature by Cónal Thomas in Dublin InQuirer (Issue 5: September 2016)
  • Singer, Community Officer and promotional design work for Discovery Gospel Choir, Ireland's leading intercultural choir (February 2016 - present)
  • UCD Innovation Academy mentorship (Endeavour award) with Eileen Diskin of Biodiversity Beermats and The Wild Postcard Project (2015)
  • Children's art classes and promotion of local crafts in Madagascar (2014)
  • Exhibitions in Ireland, Japan, Romania. Hover over the images below to see where they have been shown.
  • Christmas Card designs (2010, 2016)
  • Soft Blonde Moustache drawing, singing, playing collective with Mary-Jo Gilligan, Julia McConville and Aileen Murphy (2008 - present). Highlights include a solo exhibition and book launch at Monster Truck, a solo exhibition in Studio 8, Ljubljana, and 'Cyanotis binocularis', a Darwin-inspired installation at the Royal Irish Academy, as part of the Douglas Hyde Gallery's Preponderance of the Small.
  • BA in Fine Art Print, National College of Art and Design.
  • Member of the Defastenist Movement.

Scroll down further to see a selection of my work over the years...

 

Rove Beetle for DublinCanvas.com, 2017. On the corner of Terenure Rd. West and Greenlea Road, Dublin 6.

Hermit Hive 1 (indian ink and watercolour), 2017. Bee Time Artist Residency, Emerson College, UK.

Detail from Red Soldier Beetle (monoprint and watercolour), 2017. Bee Time Artist Residency, Emerson College, UK.

A pollinator-themed video work in progress. This is a still from a short video starring pollinator drawings and sound recordings collected from members of the public. 2017

Side view of Rove Beetle, for DublinCanvas.com, 2017.

Woven "queen cells" from Swarm Stories (sound installation), 2017. Bee Time Artist Residency, Emerson College, UK.

Detail from The Shamanic Way of the Beetle (monoprint and poster paint), 2017. Bee Time Artist Residency, Emerson College, UK.

A pollinator-themed video work in progress. These drawings were collected from a range of different people. I will bring them to life in a video on the lesser known facts about pollinating insects.

Detail from a sketch of Staphylinus dimidiaticornis for the Dublin Canvas public art project (gouache) 2017.

Detail from a sketch of Meadowsweet for Dublin Canvas public art project (gouache), 2017.

Staphylinus dimidiaticornis (monoprint and water pastel), 2016.  Dublin Naturalists' Members' Day, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.

Loricera pilicornis (monoprint), 2016.  Dublin Naturalists' Members' Day, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.

Detail from Birch Shield Bug (monoprint), 2016. Wayward Fruit Tree, Ormond Studios

Glitterbug (monoprint, water pastels and glitter), 2016. Dublin Naturalists' Members' Day, National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

Detail from Hairy Shield Bug (monoprint), 2016. Wayward Fruit Tree, Ormond Studios

Holly Blue Christmas Cards (based on monoprints), 2016. Featuring Celastrina argiolus and its foodplants, with a festive message about their natural history and conservation. A percentage was donated to OWLS Children's Nature Charity and Discovery Gospel Choir.

Holly Blue Christmas Cards (based on monoprints), 2016. Featuring Celastrina argiolus and its foodplants, with a festive message about their natural history and conservation. A percentage was donated to OWLS Children's Nature Charity and Discovery Gospel Choir.

Soft Blonde Moustache book cover, 2008.

Soft Blonde Moustache collective drawing session, 2017.

Soft Blonde Moustache installation (2009) at the Royal Irish Academy Dublin as part of Preponderance of the Small, a Douglas Hyde Gallery exhibition.

Magpie Pica pica (gouache on wood), 2010. Something tells me it's all happening at the Zoo, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery

Raven Corvus corax (gouache on wood), 2010. Something tells me it's all happening at the Zoo, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix (gouache on wood), 2010. Something tells me it's all happening at the Zoo, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery

Brown-Lipped Snail (ink and gouache) for OWLS Club Guide to Garden Invertebrates.

Froghopper (ink and gouache) for OWLS Club Guide to Garden Invertebrates.

Malagasy Wildlife Christmas Card (gouache), 2010. Sold in aid of SEED Madagascar.

Wise Maki Christmas Card, 2010. Sold in aid of SEED Madagascar.

On Francis St. our skirts intertwined and for a moment I was one of them (ink, watercolour, collage), 2007. Talbot Gallery (Dublin) and Design Festa West (Tokyo).

Iain coughs up a tunic for me out of love (ink, watercolour, collage), 2007. Talbot Gallery (Dublin) and Design Festa West (Tokyo).

Irlanda e Paradis (handpainted copperplate etching), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Bus Church (gouache on etching), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design.

Lakd skdjnezapotam sa sdilb, e ojhaid'n (gouache on etching), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Detail from The Nessapotanian Revolution (handpainted copperplate etching), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Beekeepers and Peakeepers Unite! (The Leader eats her peas with honey) (photo print), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Nessapotania Douze Points (photo print), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Still from Nessapotanian National Television (video installation), 2007. Graduate Show, National College of Art and Design

Detail from Beeswing (ink, watercolour, collage), 2006. Four Jacks and a Cork, Gallery 53.

Detail from Beeswing (ink, watercolour, Romanian bus ticket), 2006. Four Jacks and a Cork, Gallery 53.

Detail from Blackberry Jam (ink, watercolour, gold powder), 2006. Four Jacks and a Cork, Gallery 53.

Lingura de Zahar (ink, watercolour, Hungarian theatre programme), 2006. Four Jacks and a Cork, Gallery 53.

Detail from Comfort vs. Fight (steel plate etching), 2005. Romania.

Installation featuring steel etching created on Erasmus exchange in Romania, 2005. The Fantastic Mister Tom plus thirteen others, Cross Gallery, Francis Street.

Detail from Comfort vs. Fight (steel plate etching), 2005. Romania.

Well I won't be reading that again in a hurry (copper etching, aquatint), 2004. REJOYCE 100 (2nd prize), National Print Museum.

Detail from Squirrel Goes Trepanning (intaglio), 2004.

Flower badge (intaglio with carborundum), 2003.

Flower Uniforms (printed from fabric), 2003.

Flower Soldiers (intaglio), 2003.

Flower Medal (intaglio and carborundum), 2003.

 

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