Moths transition from caterpillar through pupae to their final winged form; a process which has long been associated with resurrection and rebirth.
Moth populations in Britain are decreasing. Over 60 species have become extinct during the 20th century. This decline is due to a range of factors including light pollution, habitat loss, climate change and the use of pesticides. In July 2015 the UK Government temporarily suspended the EU ban on two neonicotinoid pesticides. There is evidence that these pesticides are harmful to non-target insects and may affect other wildlife as they enter the food chain.
I use the traditional technique of cyanotype but introduce additional chemicals and allow them to seep into the paper. The finished works are unfixed and the traces of the moths gradually fade in the light.
There is no way of halting this disappearance. The faded works will be replaced and left to gather on the floor.
Fading moths - before and after exposure to daylight:
Installation of Resurrection of the dead with faded work accumulating on the floor: