My most recent work is entitled ‘Making cockroaches pretty’. It has a multitude of connotations; environmental, political and social. It is an installation of wax objects and paintings. The paintings are to be hung with mirror plates. The cockroaches are arranged reasonably randomly preferably by myself in the environment, on the floor, a shelf or table.

Making Cockroaches Pretty, Wax and Enamel Paint 

La cucaracha is arguably one of the most despised, objectionable and vile creatures to live on the planet. They do indeed have an unsavoury reputation. They aren’t ‘pretty’, furry or cuddly; but, do play an important role in nature, and like all creatures, should be respected as a living being.

I wanted to make my cockroaches desirable, tactile, strokable. I have coated plastic cockroaches in coloured and scented wax, and painted patterns onto them. Some patterns relate to their Latin names, which in themselves are beautiful, for instance; ‘Florida woods cockroach’ (eurycotis floridana) and ‘oriental cockroach’ (blatta orientalis).

Some cockroaches are placed onto plinths; they are insect specimens; on display, admired, superior, or reminiscent of pedigree ‘crufts’ cockroaches.

Positive and interesting facts about cockroaches- (campaign for the cockroach). They break down bats faeces to keep nutrients moving around the eco system.

They are ‘thigmotropic’, meaning they like to be touched! They like solids in contact with their bodies, and yet if a human touches a cockroach, they run away and hide and wash themselves!

They are incredibly hardy creatures. Fossils have been found 315 million years old. They have an extremely high radiation resistance.

Only a small minority are pests, questioning whether their reputation is justified. Culturally, they are referred to in art, literature and film; often depicted negatively, for instance in Jo Nesbo’s novel ‘Cockroaches’. Not all is negative, for instance the cockroach in the film ‘Wall- E’, is likeable, endearing and Wall- E robots best friend.