Love Motel for Insects is an ongoing series of outdoor installations intended to construct situations between humans and arthropods. One of these motels will be installed at Brightwalk as part of the artist-in-residence program at McColl Center for Art + Innovation. The works use ultra-violet lights on enormous sculpted canvases to attract insects and create an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. At each location, the Love Motels become the backdrop for community events such as; picnics, biodiversity festivals, graffiti jams, political rallies, scientific investigations, musical events and even insect film screenings.
The Love Motels for Insects sculptures began in 2001 in Central America by artist Brandon Ballengee. At this time the initial structures were made from battery powered black lights and bed-sheets placed in the Costa Rican forest floor. Within hours numerous species of flying moths, beetles, caddisflies, ants, lacewings and other arthropods descended on the installation. Female moths released chemical pheromones to attract mates and consequently “painted” the impromptu piece. Fascinated and inspired by this initial experience, further Love Motels for Insects have been fabricated along with public nocturnal field trips around the world. To date versions of the project have debuted on boats in Venice (Italy), peat bogs in Lough Boora (Ireland), isolated moors overlooking Loch Ness (Scotland), bustling shopping malls in Delhi (India), outside Aztec ruins (Mexico), New Haven (USA) inner-city bus stops, roof tops in London (England), temperate forest mountain-sides (South Korea), Louisiana Bayous (USA) and others.