Emperor Gum Moth: Joondalup sculpture drawing moths to the frame


On the wings of love: The Emperor Gum Moth sculpture on Grand Boulevard is part of a worldwide installation theme called Love Motel for Insects.
Emperor Gum Moth: Joondalup sculpture drawing moths to the frame
On the wings of love: The Emperor Gum Moth sculpture on Grand Boulevard is part of a worldwide installation theme called Love Motel for Insects.

JOONDALUP’S Emperor Gum Moth sculpture is part of a series of worldwide outdoor installations called Love Motel for Insects.

New York artist Brandon Ballengée designed the sculpture while on a residency in the City in 2015, with the aim of using UV LED lights to attract local insects that are looking for love.

After the design had been finalised, the structure and frame was locally made using aluminium and steel by Frank Carelles, of Alloy Fabrications and Weldings in Wangara.

With glowing UV lights at night and surrounded by flowering plants, the interactive ecological artwork is designed to appreciate the biodiversity of the region.

Ballengée is an environmental activist who uses art and science to educate about ecological issues.

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He has worked with communities across the globe to find novel ways of exploring the natural world and providing fun, creative environments for people of all ages to learn about the local ecosystem.

“The sculpture for Joondalup is very special personally because it is in such a special place in terms of urban ecology and forward thinking,” he said.

“I wanted the sculpture to reflect these ideas and the form is based on the native Emperor Gum Moth.

“Visually, the form is intended to be minimal but bold, with a nod to (world-renowned American sculptor) Alexander Calder.

“Unlike most modernist sculpture though, this work is very aware of the surrounding ecosystem and attempts to connect viewers to it.”

The artwork has been installed on Grand Boulevard, opposite Central Park.