Hoverflies – bio-mimicry masquerading

Project 1 –  Artist – Professor Karen Ingham; Scientists – Dr Natasha De Vere and Andrew Lucas

Hoverflies – bio-mimicry masquerading

The projects will focus on the important role of Hoverflies as ‘promiscuous pollinators’ ie. pollinators of a wide range of plants. Hoverflies are sometimes referred to as ‘the forgotten pollinators’ in that they don’t have the same appeal of the bee and the butterfly and most people confuse hoverflies with wasps as they often mimic the same pattern and colour coding. It is the Hoverfly’s ability to change its appearance, its ‘bio-mimicry masquerading’ that fascinates me and that I would like to explore. The project allows me to follow on from the widely disseminated ‘Pollinator Frocks’

http://kareningham.org.uk/portfolio/science-art-technology/pollinator-frocks and use a textiles based approach to create a design or designs that play on the remarkable skill of the Hoverfly in mimicking so many other pollinating insects. I am also interested in using the bioinformatics data that Natasha De Vere and Andrew Lucas have generated with their research, which graphically demonstrates the breadth and importance of the Hoverflies pollination habitat. I would like to explore incorporating this into a design that they Gardens would then use as part of their public engagement activities.