Near Threatened consists of a HD video projection alongside a looping slide projection.
In the video we see Dr. Aidan O’Hanlon, Curator of Entomology at the Natural History Museum in Dublin ‘pinning’ a specimen of Osmia aurulenta collected from Ballyteige Burrow, which is a Special Area of Conservation in Co.Wexford. Osmia aurulenta is the only member of the Osmia genus that makes its nest in empty snail shells from a variety of species. From a conservation point of view, it is classed as Near Threatened in Ireland. This means the; “species require monitoring as they are vulnerable to extinction / may survive only due to conservation efforts. Over the last 50 years up to 30% of Irelands insects have disappeared. It’s entirely possible that Osmia, like many of our native animals, will be upgraded to a higher risk category in the near future.”
In the video we hear a narrator lyrically describe the laborious nesting habits of Osmia aurulenta. The source for this narrative comes from The Wonders of Instinct a novel by Jean Henri Fabre, the 20th century French naturalist whom many consider to be the grandfather of Entomology. Alongside the video is a looping slide projection documenting a selection of Osmia aurulenta nests in various degrees of construction, that were photographed along the East coast of Ireland throughout a three month period. This installation attempts to highlight the fact that we are now living in the New Climatic Regime, the period of the sixth mass extinction. A time when both common and rare species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are being lost to mankind.