Caddisflies are closely related to lepidoptera. They have aquatic larvae and these larvae can be found in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, spring seeps, and vernal pools. The larvae spin protective cases of silk embellished with materials from their environment such as gravel, sand, twigs, bits of shell, and other detritus. Caddisflies have been mostly of interest to trout and trout fisherman — until Hubert Duprat decided to collaborate with them.
Artist Hubert Duprat decided to embellish the environment of the caddisfly larvae by providing them with gold leaf and
precious stones and in the process entering into a compelling collaboration that would transform their mundane activities into bejeweled sculptures:
“Duprat’s aquatic caddis fly larvae, with cases incorporating gold, opal, and turquoise, among other materials.” — Cabinet Magazine. Photos Jean-Luc Fournier. Art courtesy of Paris, and Zero Gallery, Milan.
Transforming our surroundings
You’ve heard the adages, “You are what you eat,” and “You are what you read.” It can also be said that the things you create are directly influenced by the things you surround yourself with.
This artistic experiment highlights for me the importance of surrounding oneself with beautiful things — but not just beautiful material things. Imagine the beauty we can create in our lives by surrounding ourselves with souls of gold and hearts of precious gems, with ideas carved on pearls and strung on pure silver wire, with actions that shine like diamonds and adorn the cocoons of our daily lives with brilliance.
The wonderful Cabinet Magazine has an in depth article about Duprat’s art project as well as video of the larvae in action. Check out the magazine here.