Monday, 20 October 2008

“Mothology: Discover the Magic” a new book by Buck Richardson

“Mothology: Discover the Magic” a new book by Buck Richardson

Well that’s not a word in your dictionary but perhaps it will be there in the future.

The launch of a fine new book in Cairns and Kuranda recently is a triumph of science, art and information technology. In her “Forewing” (Foreword) the Queensland Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry and the Member for Cairns Desley Boyle notes the historic importance that Butterflies and Moths have had to the Kuranda area. It started with Frederick Parkhurst Dodd; the Butterfly Man of Kuranda (see May 2006 in this blog) and continued with the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary opened in 1987. This book is another milestone. It concentrates on the marvellous moth fauna of the area.

Buck Richardson, the author combines a fascination for the unusual with a flare for art and curiosity. He has a diverse background including artistic innovation, acting, writing and digital art. Minister Boyle points out that the book is full of neologisms—beginning with the title and continuing with terms like “Forewing”, “Mothing” “Morthematics” and “Moth-er”.

The first part of the book consists of observations of moth biology seen through the eyes of an artist and non-entomologist. There are some real gems there such as a non-standard observation of why moths are “dis”-tracted to lights at night. Then there are 27 pages of moths, beautifully represented and authoritatively identified. For the taxonomist and local naturalist, this is a wonderful addition as well as a thing of beauty. The images have been photographed at various places around Kuranda, mostly under streetlights. Buck has become known for his early morning forays around Kuranda streets wherever moths might be found. The images have been modified, but not greatly changed, digitally. Then, the art. Moth images have been used in still life exhibitions, “Space Mothology” on and off canvas “Moth Air Balloons” and new concept for “Moth Balls”, “Moth Eggs” “Moth-erland Orbits”, “Moth Stars” and “Moth Mandalas”. All have to be seen to be believed. And all of the latter are on offer as wall hangings, posters, wall plates, silk scarves and the like. In viewing this collection one has to keep in mind that all the designs are the moths themselves, all digitally arranged using Buck’s talents as an artist.

This book should be on everyone’s coffee table as a triumph of science and art. It is beautifully produced and a thing of great beauty. We are privileged to have such a talented person in our community.

The book has been published by the author and is available from Buck. Buck is fond of commenting that
“No moth has been harmed during the production of this book!” As a collector, well I have mixed feelings about this. He let go some very nice specimens!

The front cover

The back cover

A portion of a moth page

A couple of Moth Mandala wall plates. Remember all these are moths. Look closely, you'll see.

1 comment:

Camera Trap Codger said...

Looks like a good one. I wish we had a few more mothologists out here willing to write such a book for the western US.