Insects and Creative Reuse Art

Insects inspire many creative reuse artists. Some make insect sculptures from recycled materials, while others actually work with live insects to make art. Get inspired by insects to make creative reuse art!

You can listen to my podcast episode about creative reuse art inspired by insects in this YouTube video. It originally aired in July 2020:

What Insects Teach About Creative Reuse

Insects are pros at creative reuse. They decompose materials and bring nutrients back to the earth. For example:

Not only do insects creatively reuse all the time, but humans have also creatively reused insects. For example:

Insects Creatively Reused in Art

In the Midnight Garden by Jennifer Angus was an installation at the Renwick Gallery in Washginton DC. I viewed it in December 2015. Jennifer gets her insects from indigenous people mostly in Peru, Malaysia and Indonesia. She only works with commonly-found species.

In the Midnight Garden by Jennifer Angus at the Renwick Gallery, December 2015
In the Midnight Garden by Jennifer Angus at the Renwick Gallery, December 2015 – Photo by Carla Brown

Artists Who Partner with Insects

Stephen Kutcher paints the feet of insects and releases them to scamper across the canvas to make art.

Agenetha Dyck places objects such as porcelain figurines or sports equipment in hives where the bees sculpt around them.

Johanna Griffith is a printmaker who made paper that included part of a wasp nest. Listen to the podcast episode to hear about the fun connection between Johanna and me!

Insect Sculptures from Creatively Reused Materials

Edouard Martinet – likely the best known creative reuse artist who makes mostly insects and fish from recycled materials

Lex Talkington

Kym Latter – Isolation Beetle Project

Mr. Finch sews giant moths from vintage fabrics.

Raku Inoue sculpts insects from flower petals.

Mark Oliver made a series of insects called “Litter Bugs” from a wide assortment of materials such as book covers and broken glasses.

Alan Williams makes many creatures from metal – not many insects but here is a stag beetle.

Insect Crafts Made Recycled Materials

Changing Butterfly Life Cycle Craft
I designed this craft so the wings would be a chrysalis when closed, but transform into the wings of the butterfly when open.
Butterfly made from a recycled plastic water jug
Butterfly made from a recycled plastic water jug
Cap-erpillar area waiting for people
Cap-erpillar area waiting for people

Creative Reuse Tips to Repel Insects

Tick Tubes

Faux Hornet Nest

Free Plarn pattern to crochet your hornet’s nest

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