Hubert Duprat & Caddisfly Art

Ew bugs? Not these ones. Caddisfies, also known as sedge-flies or rail flies, are small pond and stream insects closely related to moths and butterflies. The caddisflies begin as aquatic larvae that uniquely make protective casings of silk, initially sticky, and decorate their developing bodies with twigs, gravel, sand, and other small fragments. In nature one would find a caddisfly larvae and its casing like this:

 

caddisfly_02

 

Frank Greenaway c. Dorling Kindersley

Frank Greenaway c. Dorling Kindersley

French artist Hubert Duprat has been collaborating with the larvae since early 1980. Familiar with the ways of the caddis larvae since childhood, an artistic idea dawned upon him while watching men panning for gold a stream in Southwestern France. Duprat carefully catches the larvae from their natural habitat and relocates them to his studio where he removes their natural sheath and places them in a tank filled with materials from which they can recreate their casing. The materials include gold, opal, pearls, rubies, stones precious and semi-precious. The result is as follows:

Cabinet Magazine Org.

Cabinet Magazine Org.

Cabinet Magazine Org., Hubert Duprat

Cabinet Magazine Org., Hubert Duprat

Who knew insects could be art? Check out a video of Duprat’s larvae in action here . Read up on Duprat’s work on Cabinet Magazine Online here.

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2 comments
  1. painfullygood said:

    oh whoa… that’s unheard of. Messing with nature is one thing, but turning it into art is neat!

  2. H said:

    Wow. This is some kind of amazing. Those lucky larvae; I would love to wake up one morning encased in gold!

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