Christopher Marley.OMSI exhibit an exquisite way to get ‘bugged out’ in a good way posted on 10/01/2019
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) welcomes
the exhibit "Exquisite Creatures" for its Oregon debut, running from
Oct. 5 through Feb. 17, 2020.
"Exquisite Creatures opens the door to a variety of
complex topics by highlighting nature's inherent beauty and design," said
Nancy Stueber, OMSI president and CEO in a press release to The Mountain Times.
"This exhibit is a stunning and insightful way to show that art, science
and nature are very much linked together and does a great job at making those
topics accessible to audiences of all ages."
Exquisite indeed, this awe-inspiring exhibition showcases
the amazing gifts of world-renowned artist, naturalist and New York Times
bestselling author Christopher Marley, who has made it his lifelong passion to
reveal the obscure beauty in nature and preserve specimens of insects and other
life as three dimensional art. Guests to the exhibit will experience the
ancient connection between art, nature and science, where Marley taps the
natural world as his medium.
Marley explained he was born with a passion for
"monsters," so reptiles were his earliest and most natural love.
"I spent the majority of my childhood outside looking
for snakes and lizards and raised a number of different species into
adulthood," Marley said in an e-mail to The Mountain Times.
"Thankfully my parents were very tolerant of my reptilian pursuits."
When traveling and living in Asia and South America, Marley
developed his passion for insects. As a young man, Marley had pursued a career
in fashion while studying art and design, and it was on a fabric sourcing trip
in Bangkok that he found himself exploring a night market, coming across a
group of disabled locals selling cheap frames crammed with the "craziest
beetles I'd ever seen." Marley was enthralled with being able to examine
the huge insects up close.
Later, while working in Cape Town, South Africa, Marley was
really moved by how conscientious residents were about incorporating the
natural world into their designs and homes. After returning to Los Angeles,
Marley was determined to create a living space for himself that was an homage
Marley possesses one single beetle from the Mount Hood area
in his entire exhibit of thousands of specimens, caught by his son, which is
included in the largest insect mosaic he has ever made.
"There is so much beauty all around the Northwest, but
as my area of expertise has historically been the tropics, I am only now really
starting to discover some of the beauty in my own back yard and am absolutely
loving it," Marley said. "The rock hounding and fossil collecting
here is particularly wonderful."
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, and growing up as a
self-described “OMSI kid,” Marley portrayed his field trips in grade school as
absolute highlights, and no trip to the zoo was ever complete without also
spending hours across the parking lot in OMSI.
Although Marley has been exhibiting all over the world in
over 500 galleries and special exhibits for two decades now, he said he had
very few opportunities to do so in Oregon.
"To be able to finally come home and exhibit in the
very place where my love affair with nature and science began is absolutely
thrilling," Marley said. "I'm so looking forward to it."
All of the organisms used in Marley's work are either
reclaimed (in the case of vertebrates) or sustainably obtained (in the case of
insects), using a worldwide network of people and institutions that share his
passion for nature, and frequently offers an alternative to ranching or farming
for often impoverished people with few options for sustenance other than
working the land.
OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland,
Information available online regarding exhibit hours and
admission prices can be found at the museum’s website, Omsi.edu.
By Frances Berteau/MT