I was surfing about, and this image happened to catch my eye on Flickr. It turned out to be part of this.

It’s apparently from an art show by Regina Silveira: Mundus Admirus e Outras Pragas.

(“Mundus Admirabilis and other plagues”; Mundus is Latin for “clean”, but I need help with  Admirabilis; “wonder” or “admiration doesn’t quite scan.)

My Spanish is…well, terrible, frankly, but as best I can tell from the artist’s web pages, it’s an installation that examines “aspects of conflict and deterioration,” using insects as a metaphor for social and environmental threats to our human future.

If you click on the “Images” link you can see that this was a work on a massive scale.  There are additional photos here.

There is an English language description of her gallery work–from that:

“Regina Silveira’s works here deploy visual metaphors – such as images of pests – to foreground aspects of the deterioration and danger involved in the presumed continuity, or re-emergence, of pests or plagues. Present-day versions of mythic pests or plagues become visual fables for contemporary life…

Mixed images of pests are stuck to the walls and floor of the entrance and main hall of the gallery. Insects also appear on porcelain objects and a cross-stitch embroidered towel. A large black egg emits the combined sound of mosquitoes and helicopters and a porcelain panel alludes to the rain of frogs.”

So, not particularly a happy use of insects in this case.

What I really want to know, though, is how did she make these way cool dishes, and can I learn to do that??

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. They’ll be illustrations made into transfers, then simply applied to the blank plates. You then usually glaze over them. In the UK I believe you can buy kits to make your own plates either including transfers or ceramic paint, so there must be similar ceramic craft shops/suppliers in the US.

  2. Hi! I really like your site and check it regularly.

    FYI, in Brasil, people speak portuguese, and if you copy and paste the text of the MUNDUS ADMIRABILIS into google translate you get this: (a little imperfect, but you get the idea.)

    MUNDUS admirabilis

    The idea of using images of insects harmful to comment on aspects of deterioration and conflict belongs to the conceptual universe of yet unpublished work that I plan and even running, gradually, in different ways, trying to reatualizar, in the contemporary and the ancient biblical plagues , historical and mythical. Operating on the assumption of its possible implementation in other areas of significance, the pest would be revisited metaphors nonlinear pests more angry that now desolate in the world overall and on several fronts: social, environmental, cultural and ” “civilizing”, threatening a future that seems to becoming increasingly impractical.

    The reatualização of pests, metaforizadas poetically and away from any literal translation, began in the many images that come from harmful insects by applying the pieces of white porcelain for everyday use, where the pictures of the insects are set and apparently “stacked” by means of techniques Third-burning.

    MUNDUS admirabilis the plant with giant insects who attended the invitation of CCBB of Brasilia to a specific site in the large box of glass installed in the gardens of the institution, those derived directly painted porcelain and connects to other works, earlier, where human footprints or animals, shadows and tracks of tires that were grounds for intervention and re-contaminated semantizaram the architectures that were overlapping.

    MUNDUS admirabilis transported to the glass box of CCBB countless insects selected from the species classified as weeds. The images were appropriate publications of Natural History, processed and reproduced in the eighteenth century, where to find specific features that the insects should compose the MUNDUS admirabilis. They should be designed with the particular syntax of pre-scientific photographic illustrations, very detailed and descriptive, which often included species entirely imaginary.

    In the project the installation at CCBB, with the support of a glass box of 20 x 20 m transparent walls of almost 7 meters high, the group of insects harmful won the gigantic scale that is your brand stronger. The fact of the insects are huge, because it is the ghostly figure that makes the box of glass and giant cage, where images of incompatible species and out of proportion with each other, seem to live in splendid isolation.

    MUNDUS admirabilis is a large format digital imaging, performed as plot, with two finalizations: cut adhesive vinyl and applied on the walls of glass and printed on adhesive vinyl floor. In the context of the exhibition “Garden of Power” to win a giant insect political connotation more focused. The glass box can be seen as a flag of garden which is crossed by the light at the same time, address and place of conflicting devoração species. Front or inside of the box light, we can exercise our observation and our “wonderful” against the harmful hyperbolic beings ultimately cage.

    I mean no disrespect, by the way! I didn’t know Brasilians spoke Portuguese until I dated one!


  3. Ah Ha! Stupid mistake by me–I keep forgetting that!

    Thanks for the translation. :)

  4. I’m guessing the title is something on the order of “Our Astonishing World and Other Plagues”, since Mundus = world and the verb Admirar = marvel, be astonished in Portuguese. If you know anyone who knows Portuguese, see what they say. Be neat to know.

  5. Praga in Portuguese actually means pest, not plague. Very cool idea this artist has. Bugs in the tropics like here in Brazil are so prevalent and everyday it seems like I see a different one. Some are so beautiful it makes sense someone would want to make art out of them!

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