In time for the International Day for Biological Diversity, Espace pour la vie invites you to Frédéric-Back Park, where new Celebrations of Entomophilia organized by the Insectarium will begin on May 18. This time, insects are at the heart of three fascinating artistic endeavours resulting in three artworks presented throughout the summer in Frédéric-Back Park: Among the grass emerge two pairs of giant antennas (Architecturama); further on, giant sails recall butterfly wings (Collectif Escargo), while, in the middle, an organic work evokes the important role ants play in their habitat (Frédéric Saia). Integrated into the activities offered by TOHU throughout the summer, the artworks are an opportunity for thought and dialogue on the protection of insects, their habitats, and biodiversity. The Montréal Insectarium also proposes a series of unprecedented get-togethers in Frédéric-Back Park on the search for moths, on the monarch butterfly and on the insects that can be observed in the park. This summer, the Insectarium is “pollinating” the public space all the way out to Frédéric-Back Park!
When insects inspire art …
Bivouac, by Collectif Escargo, takes us on a journey on another scale that highlights the spectacular complexity and beauty of butterfly wings. Created from reused sails and masts—witnesses of bygone journeys—, the giant wings echo the incredible journey of certain migratory insects. The glittering and shimmering textures, made from salvaged materials, reveal new details as the perspective, light and wind change, offering a moment of lightheaded contemplation.
À l’antenne, by Architecturama, is inspired by the white-spotted sawyer and the white admiral, the emblematic insect of Quebec. The work suggests both a monumental encounter in the tall grass and a telecommunication device. It magnifies these ultra-sensitive organs that can detect odours, sounds, flavours, humidity, a variety of chemical signals, or serve as tactile organs or a defense mechanism. As we approach the oversized antennas made of salvaged metal and wood, they tower up above, evoking how the insects themselves perceive their environment.
Hortus formica, by Frédéric Saia, evokes the important role ants play in their habitat and invites us into the invisible world of an anthill. In their quest for food and as they stockpile reserves, insects scatter seeds. Their activities break up matter, which contributes to the decomposition process. Micro-organisms take over the soil, which is transformed yet again. In the resulting humus, new seeds germinate, which the ants sow. In the heart of Frédéric-Back Park, Hortus formica plants trees...
The 3 works chosen by a jury following a call for proposals showcase the diversity of insects. Among the selection criteria, special focus was attached to the ecological character of the materials used and their disposal at the end of the project.
Where can these works be seen?
The 3 works are installed in the Boisé Est sector of Frédéric-Back Park, below the Belvedere (access via 2e Avenue/rue Deville).
Schedule for the special programming proposed by the Insectarium team
at Frédéric-Back Park, in collaboration with TOHU
Butterfly Watch - Friday, June 9, 8:30 pm and 9 pm (starting from TOHU)
Guided by the TOHU team, join Maxim Larrivée, director of the Insectarium, and André-Philippe Drapeau Picard, entomological information officer, in an astonishing tête-à-tête with the moths that represent 90% of the butterflies identified to date. Notice to photographers: contribute to the Atlas des papillons de nuit du Québec, a participatory science project of the Insectarium hosted by the iNaturalist platform.
On a Mission for the Monarch - Friday June 30 and July 28, 5 pm and 7 pm (starting from Frédéric-Back Park Kiosk, entrance D’Iberville/Émile-Journault)
Dive into the world of participatory science by documenting monarch habitats in your neighbourhood. Learn how to better observe the monarch by familiarising yourself with its lifecycle and migration habits, and learn how to identify milkweed plants. Then share your observations! Duration: 50-60 min.
Explor’Insects - Saturday, December 9 and 16, 1 pm, 2:30 pm and 4 pm (starting from Frédéric-Back Park Kiosk, entrance D’Iberville/Émile-Journault)
Discover the entomofauna of Frédéric-Back Park. During the animation, learn more about insects and the benefits of greening the spaces we share with them. Take photos galore and participate in the Biodiversity Challenge, a participatory science project that helps scientists to protect biodiversity.
When the artistic process is transformative…
Interestingly, the insects at the heart of this project's artistic process also inspire the artists in their relationship with insects.
“At Espace pour la vie, we consider our museums to be more than mere destinations—they are drivers of societal transformation in their own right. Celebrations of Entomophilia is a great example of this. This series of events organized by the Montréal Insectarium promotes insects and their essential role in keeping nature in balance, which also benefits our health and well-being. Insects become a source of inspiration for creators across many disciplines—gastronomy, visual arts, music, dance, etc.—who then transmit their discoveries, vision and enthusiasm to the public,” says Maxim Larrivée, Director of the Montréal Insectarium.
Espace pour la vie
Espace pour la vie is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.