Litter Bugs: Urban Entomology Made from Trash

Taking the term ‘litterbug’ more literally than usual, British artist Mark Oliver has built a series of insect like creatures completely out of discarded trash. His works bridge the gap between miniature sculpture and collage, often using clock hands for legs and springs for antennae, while implementing flat paper like cutouts of Elvis and the Bible for wings and beetle like shells. The series, called ‘The Litter Bug’, is what he calls Urban Entomology: each insect has a tag displaying its imaginative name.

More than simply mimicking the forms of insects, perhaps Oliver’s works could be looked at as mimicking their actions. Insects are the great recyclers of the world, breaking down plant and animal matter, and turning it into valuable organic material for the world to use again. Oliver’s work seems to reinterpret this process, using his insect themed pieces to recycle refuse into beautiful objects once again.

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