A Call to Change, aka Of Christmas's Past
by Ray Besserdin


Since boyhood, I’ve loved seeing the Christmas beetles flying about the flowering gums on hot summer days and flying to our lights on warm evenings in the backyard around Christmas. They were always there on lazy days and nights and to this day I’ve looked forward to seeing them. But over the last 20 years they have declined to the point of scarcity. In fact, it’s not just the Christmas Beetles disappearing. Studies show populations of all insects worldwide have been vanishing at around 6% annually, raising the alarm on what David Attenborough calls the greatest species extinction since the dinosaurs. In the web of life, (a delicate background circle of teased Kozo papers tying the elements together), insects such as the Christmas Beetle are both important plant pollinators and agents of the carbon cycle at root level. The web also interconnects all phases of the beetle’s life cycle, and whilst any part can be vulnerable, I have chosen to omit the pupa, (metamorphosis phase), torn out between the lava, (bottom left), and newly emerged feeding adult, (bottom right), to highlight possible disruption. Notwithstanding environmental degradation, perhaps too a staggering rise of biocide use, that some references suggest is up by 1,700% in the last 40 years, may well be a factor we don’t see adding further pressure on their existence. Insects are resilient, and provided our awareness changes our practices now, a pinned museum specimen, (coloured subject, sculpted from Hahnemuhle 300 gsm cotton and 30gsm Mulberry papers), will not need to be the only way future generations see these beautiful creatures. I hope they too will enjoy the privilege I had in Christmas’s past. The triangle epitomises a pivotal time, caution symbol, and algebraic symbol delta for change. Sculptured, handmade Kozo and mould-made cotton sheet-formed papers, (not papier maché). Coloured inks. Framed in limed Tasmanian Oak with acrylic glazing.

Artist Information for Ray Besserdin


Sculpture Details:

Price: $8,000.00
Type: Representational Sculpture Ed No. 1  
State: Original
Sculptor Register #: A495
Sculpture Certification #: B9002110

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