Goliathus Hercules - Jennifer Angus


  • "The idea of discovery is the motivation behind Goliathus Hercules. In all of my installations viewers initially see a pattern upon the wall, however closer examination reveals that they are composed of insects. Understandably ideas about collecting and collections arise. The Victorian era was the heyday of collecting. What motivated the interest in collecting, so much so that in fact certain species were collected to death? The prestige of a large collection and the finest and most unusual specimens was enormous. While men of science worked in the field collecting, the wealthy sponsored expeditions and were the great accumulators.
  • Many people have asked me if the insects in my work are real. Answer: Yes. Have I collected them myself? Answer: No. They ask if I have painted them as they are such splendid colours. Answer: No. These questions at first surprised me. How could people expect me to run around with a net catching thousands of insects? Why would I bother or even have the time to painstakingly paint each of those bugs? These questions have motivated me to consider the lengths one might go to be an explorer and make a discovery which might catapult one to fame.
  • Goliathus Hercules is the name of the fictitious insect I have discovered and collected! The name alludes to the Latin nomenclature insects are given, and obviously it is a very large and strong creature. The bigger the insect, the more awe and prestige it will garner. Goliathus Hercules was created with the body parts of other insects (in the great hoax tradition). Included in this exhbition is a diary I have created, a record of the explorer's arduous journey in the name of science and fame."