Red List Insects: Martin Wilson Photo Exhibiton
Join us on Saturday January 26 between 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM for the launch of Martin Wilson's photo exhibition of endangered, threatened and extinct insects, taken from the Manchester Museum collection. See these spectacular creatures in macro scale, 15 times their original size.
This will be your first chance to see this exhibition in the Museum's 3rd floor space.
Martin described the inspiration behind this exhibition to us, and why he wants to raise more awareness of these creatures current plight -
"Originally my fascination with insects started when I was a child. Growing up in a rural community I spent many happy hours 'bug hunting' in local woodlands. My interest was renewed years later when as a father, and mature student, I started a photography degree. Exploring local nature reserves with my children I was struck again by how exciting it can be to turn over a rotting tree branch, or an old stone and find an entire community thriving beneath. Insects became a natural subject choice for my photography. Over time I grew frustrated with the limitations of the human eye and our inability to really 'see' and appreciate the beauty of their anatomical forms and the intricacy of detail. I began to specialise in Macro photography which involves producing photographs of small objects to larger than life size. My aim is to raise awareness of the UK endangered species of insects featured in the IUCN Red List (Red data book). I am hoping to aid conservation by providing the public with visual tools to identify these species, in an attempt to elevate their importance.
Aside from our appreciation of their beauty, in many respects insects are the unsung heroes of the eco system. They play a pivotal and very diverse role which is often not recognised. While in some areas of the world eating insects is a novelty, in others they provide an essential and much-valued source of nutrition. They play a key role in the food chain and are essential to pollination as many flowering plants are reliant on insects to transport their pollen and ensure fertilisation. Bees are our most important pollinator and we are reliant on them to help us pollinate our food crops, to put this into perspective:70 out of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees. A particular area of interest in my Macro photography has been discovering and celebrating our indigenous bee species. Insects also play a vital role in escalating the decomposition of organic waste, even in death insects are contributing! As their bodies are comprised of nitrogen, as they decompose, they return this important element to the ground."
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