Moulded paper on Arches watercolour paper, pen and ink

I use the subject of moths as symbols of life and death, survival and destruction in my practice. For centuries, the pale speckled moth lived in the northern English countryside camouflaged from predators by its resemblance to the white lichen on the trees. Come the Industrial Revolution, the darker variety proliferated on the polluted blackened trees.

Charles Darwin used this as an example of natural selection. The pale moth rose again in the 1950s with the Clean Air Act, outnumbering their darker relatives. The story of the speckled moth represents a cycle of hope and regeneration.

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by Marguerite Derricourt