The University of New England and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) have partnered to offer an exciting 2-day masterclass for attendees to engage and learn from entomologists, ecologists, artists and museum staff about insect ecology and conservation, identification, pinning and curating; as well as the artistic techniques of natural history illustration. This workshop is for anyone interested in how insects shape our planet, our lives and our narratives.

The details

When: Friday 9th and 10th October 2020 – 9:00am to 4:30pm and 9:50am to 5:00pm

Cost: $220 for 2 full days. All materials supplied! Includes Day 1 Morning Tea, and Day 1 and 2 Afternoon Teas

Places: Max. 15 spots! Min. 10 to run.

Where: Day 1 – UNE Agricultural Education Building W077; Natural History Museum – University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351.

Day 2 – NERAM galleries; Packsaddle Artist Studio – New England Regional Art Museum, 106 – 114 Kentucky St, Armidale NSW 2350.

See full 2 Day Workshop Program here

Facilitators: Dr Manu Saunders, Dr Jean Holley,  Dr Kirsti Abbott, Dr James O’Hanlon, Mr Steve Tremont,  Prof. Nigel Andrew, Deirdre Bean, Jennifer Taylor-McRae – Registrar and Collections Manager, Alexis Rickards – Education Officer

What’s it all about?

Day 1 offers an engaging program at UNE that will begin with an introduction to insect ecology, conservation, significance and taxonomy. This will then be followed by an introduction to insect collecting, pinning, curating and identification. Throughout the day, attendees will learn about the integral and complex role and relationship insects have with society and our planet through workshops on insect behaviour, depictions in art, culture and media, as well as entomology in Australia and citizen science. Day 2 takes you to the art museum, where the interplay of insects and art are explored in discussion with Paper Conservator and Collections Manager Jennifer Taylor-McRae, followed by a  4-hour scientific illustration workshop with artist Deirdre Bean, and exploration of the Black Gully Nature Reserve with Dr James O’Hanlon.

About the workshop: UNE

The University of New England offers opportunities to engage and learn from entomologists, ecologists and parataxonomists working around Australia and the globe on biodiversity conservation, insect physiology, insect ecology, agroecology and STEM education. The UNE Natural History Museum is the only one of its kind within 500kms and holds a substantial entomology collection of both pinned and soft bodied insects preserved in jars. The specimens reflect teaching, research, student and display projects, some dating back to the 1950’s, and represent almost all insect Orders.

The recent “Insect Apocalypse” narrative, alongside the rise of popular media stories about the decline of bees and death knoll of mosquitoes, trustworthy and accessible information on insects, their roles, importance, distribution, diversity and habitats, is dwindling. Yet more and more people want to understand the complex world in which we live – with insects.

About the workshop: Deirdre Bean and NERAM

During her PhD in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle, artist Deirdre Bean had access to an extraordinary collection of privately donated preserved insects. Being fascinated with the natural world, she was inspired to draw a selection of them, including the cicada and grasshopper. Drawing from pinned specimens, the illustrator is required to observe closely, measure and draw accurately – essential principles for all scientific illustration.

NERAM is delighted to host Deirdre Bean for this collaboration. NERAM is a leading cultural and arts tourism destination in regional Australia, and home to one of the nation’s most significant art collections outside the capital cities, holding a collection of over 5000 works of historical, modern and contemporary art. NERAM presents a dynamic program of exhibitions, educational and public events.