‘Emerald Isle’ – Momigami Map Moth
Emma Whitehead’s body of work was inspired by the Map-winged Swift moth, Irish mythology/superstition and the Japanese technique Momigami. Within folklore, moths are viewed as messengers from the dead or symbols of death. Moths evolved before butterflies, and fossils suggest they might be 200 million years old. They also symbolise the soul. So, if you see one, it could be a soul returning with a message for you or simply a final farewell. Emma invites you to contemplate these map moths of Ireland and should you be tempted to adopt one be kind to it; don’t over exercise it, allow it to enjoy the light now and again but don’t feed it as it doesn’t eat. Don’t forget to retrieve your message from the dead – your moth went to a lot of trouble bringing it.
The adult Map-winged Swift (Korscheltellus fusconebulosa) has short antennae, and no functioning mouthparts so cannot feed. The caterpillars can be found from July to the following May, overwintering twice underground as larvae so the life cycle takes two years to complete. They are locally distributed in most parts of mainland Britain, the Isle of Man and in Ireland.
For this piece, Emma used Momigami – a Japanese paper kneading technique which uses oil which transforms paper into a fibrous material which can then be stitched.
Mediums: geological map of Ireland, thread, repurposed beads and wire, reclaimed wood; mounted on a wooden base.