The Moth Migration Project founded by Hilary Lorenz is a crowd-sourced collection of hand printed, drawn and cut paper moths exhibited in multi-sensory installation. Choosing moths, a nocturnal pollinator, as the vehicle for cross-pollination and international exchange, and using social media I invite people to create paper moths native to their geographic location. The moths become a symbol of the global network with currently over 15,000 submissions from 26 countries. The MMP created a spirit more significant than any single community by fostering authentic connections and engaging public participation through a synergy of shared experience and embracing mutual respect for personal uniqueness and creativity.
The Moth Migration Project spans all cultures, ages, countries. It is a tool for community building in both physical and digital worlds. Components of the MMP include free printmaking workshops for adults and children given by me, along with dozens of “moth ambassadors.” Moth ambassadors organize people to create moths specific to their region, then send the moths to join the carefully cataloged collection used for traveling exhibitions. I highly encourage educators to adopt the moth migration project to their classrooms as it is an excellent tool for STEAM learning as the inroads to both the sciences and art are tremendous.
The spirit of belonging is elevated when each moth making participant receives their own postcard certification of recognition acknowledging their outstanding contribution. The MMP website lists all the artist’s name and highlights their location on a world map further fostering inclusion. A Facebook page, which you are welcome to join, connects artists who may live in isolated or remote areas. It also allows for the sharing of individual’s moth making process. The moths from community workshops are collected into small portfolios and duplicates can be sent out to friends and families in nursing homes and healthcare facilities to bolster their wellbeing. In the first six months, 53 organizations, 675 individuals from 24 countries created over 15,000 moths demonstrated the deep passion and desire to connect in straightforward yet powerful ways. The paper moths became the symbol of sharing and community which will continue to grow and develop with workshops and exhibitions.
Adopting crowdsourcing as a form of artmaking dramatically changed my role and my practice. As an artist, I almost always work alone. Now, I feel like a conductor holding it together, encouraging each person to roll with their idea. I could not, nor do I want to control everything while building the Moth Migration Project. I let the project evolve, grow, and change. I have a vision, and I know that if I welcomed everyone in, it would be far more magnificent.
Will you join the project?
Moth Migration Project is an ongoing project that began in 2017. The first exhibition premiered August 2017 and was a part of the larger “Cross Pollination”, the exhibit at 516Arts, Albuquerque, NM. It w will now travel.
Scheduled exhibitions include Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre, Saint Andrews, Canada, 2018; Bundaberg Regional Gallery, Bundaberg, Australia, 2019.
Each little piece of art, carefully catalogued and marshalled by Hilary from countries all around the world is building bridges and links between people who would never otherwise have met.
–Avril Wilkinson, Norfolk, England