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Falmouth student artists attract attention with 'insect hotels'

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 15, 2013

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. A few of the hotels in-situ. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-008_C

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Sophie Stanley with one of her Insect Hotels. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-007_C

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-006_C

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Artist Sophie Stanley (left) and Jacqui Owen, Gyllyngdune's visitor and education officer, with some of the Insect Hotels. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-005_C

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Artist Sophie Stanley (left) and Jacqui Owen, Gyllyngdune's visitor and education officer, with some of the Insect Hotels. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-004_C

  • Sophie Stanley, left, and Jacqui Owen, the visitor and education officer at Gyllyngdune Gardens, with some of the insect hotels Ms Stanley made to help invertebrate inhabitants spend a comfortable winter there. they imitate the styles of Cornish seafront houses.

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Artist Sophie Stanley (left) and Jacqui Owen, Gyllyngdune's visitor and education officer, with some of the Insect Hotels. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-002_C

  • Sophie Stanley installs Insect Hotel at Gyllngdune Gardens. Artist Sophie Stanley (left) and Jacqui Owen, Gyllyngdune's visitor and education officer, with some of the Insect Hotels. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20131204A-001_C

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THE work of a local student artist has earned her a new commission to create 'insect hotels' inspired by Cornish coastal villages.

Artist Sophie Stanley was asked to design the insect habitats at Gyllyngdune Gardens after her previous installation at Trelissick Garden – of a giant bees' nest – attracted attention.

A student in the third year of a contemporary craft degree, she was commissioned to create a variety of small houses, emulating Cornish seaside homes.

"Trelissick opened up a new opportunity for me to work in a garden rather than a gallery," said Ms Stanley.

"Putting art in an unexpected location involves more people in art who maybe would not have seen themselves as art-lovers."

Insect hotels are habitats made of natural materials which provide insects with refuge and nesting facilities, particularly during winter.

"It's interesting to create something which is going to be destroyed," said Ms Stanley.

"It's different from normal art which is made to retain a value. This will degrade with the environment."

The artist worked closely with Jacqui Owen, visitor and education officer at Gyllyngdune Gardens, and head gardener Matt Stannard.

Each house is filled with natural materials and topped with 'succulents' – plants which store water in their fleshy leaves – from the Gyllyngdune greenhouse.

"Sophie's work is fresh and exciting and we were really keen to support her," said Ms Owen.

"She was purposely given a very open brief to ensure that she wasn't creatively restricted, where she was asked to come up with something that was organic and in harmony with the gardens, as well as providing a home for the local insect population.

"The houses look fantastic now that they are in situ and we hope that this will be the beginning of more collaborations to introduce sculptures to enhance the gardens."

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  • Pink_Diesel  |  December 15 2013, 8:45AM

    A solution to the rural housing crisis?

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