The story of Forgotten Beauties began with Sophie and Tillmann's mutual fascination and respect for insects, as well as a desire to create a greater awareness of their importance within our planet's ecosystem. Using the paint brush and the lens, the insects are magnified on large canvases showing off all their weird and wonderful detail.
The rate of insect extinction is 8 times faster than that of reptiles, birds and mammals. Insects, however, are the foundation of our ecosystem and their decline threatens the collapse of nature. These unique and striking canvases represent a focus that has never been more relevant than it is today: the issue of insect decline as a result of global warming, intensive agriculture, urbanisation and industrialisation.
Even the most common insects can reveal an astonishing beauty with individual mannerisms that are normally too small and hidden to be appreciated by the human eye. However, in all corners of the world there are still insects that have a magnificence that cannot be matched by any other creature in the animal kingdom.
Some of the insects in Forgotten Beauties are precariously close to extinction while others that appear to be thriving in their numbers are still declining. Peter Pretscher, the scientific advisor for Forgotten Beauties, unravels the biological behaviours and characteristics exhibited by each insect – interpreting the lesser known story behind these magical creatures.