Pas de deux (part I)
Weaving flowers into stories is the essence of my photography. Surrounded by nature on my farm in the Wheatbelt I am constantly reminded of the interconnectedness of species and the precious need to protect our fragile environment.
Taking the Dutch Masters as my creative inspiration I create intricate night gardens with flowers from my garden. If the flowers are the warp in my photographs the moths are the weft.
With plummeting insect numbers threatening a catastrophic collapse of natural ecosystems, as recently reported in the journal Biological Conservation, it becomes ever more important we highlight creatures like the Southern Old Lady moths depicted here and the important roles they play in ecology.
Moths are night pollinators and are believed to ‘fill in the gaps’ left by their daytime counterparts. Their numbers appear to be falling too with loss of habitat a significant cause. More than 90% of the Wheatbelt has been cleared of its woodlands since European settlement. Providing alternative habitats such as gardens and revegetating farmland may become essential to their survival.
“Pas de deux” tells the choreographed story of two moths seeking each other in the night garden. The series based on classical French ballet sees the two principles dance through the flowers – here native pink and white everlastings.
We observe as a single moth enters the garden in ‘The Arrival’ as a second moth waits resting below.
‘The Search’ begins as each seeks out a mate and at last a chance meeting amongst the flowers in ‘The Encounter’.
Off they fly and as ‘The Flirtation’ begins this frenzied courtship is echoed by the flora around them jostling for attention.
The pas de deux is traditionally in five parts: the entree; adagio; variations (solos), culminating in a dramatic, musical balletic climax known as the coda or conclusion here in ‘The Connection’.
But a sixth chapter flows on in ‘The Departure’ do our moths follow each other out of the garden together or do they drift off apart?
As Rudolph Nureyev said “A pas de deux is a dialogue of love” let this be a love letter to nature.