Ceiling made of Beetles!

This ceiling truly is delightful! Entitled "Heaven of Delight", Belgian artist Jan Fabre has created "murals" out of Jewel Beetle elytra (the hard part of a beetle wing)! Over 1.5 million beetle wings have been used to cover the ceiling panels and chandelier in the Belgian Royal Palace. Although he had several full-time helpers, this work still took months to install!
I love what he has to say about the durability of beetle wings:
''The wing cases of the jewel beetles are made of chitin, one of the hardest, most imperishable materials we know. They consist of wafer-thin platelets that capture, reflect and transform light. Oil paint fades; the carapace will keep its original colors.''
This gives me a lot of hope that my own personal creations made with beetles will last for many years to come!
Apparently these beetle elytra come as a by-product of the Thai food industry. The rather large beetles are used as food, and the wings are thrown away!
I just love the originality and the beauty of this work! Enchanting!
To read more, here's an article from a few years back in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/04/arts/bits-of-bugs-glow-to-delight-a-queen.html?pagewanted=1


Mindy Lighthipe said...

WOW! I would love to see this in person. It must be so awesome. I love the way the pattern swirls and changes. Now I want to re-tile my bathroom ceiling in elytra! In a small space that might just work.

Carapace said...

That's amazing! I'm so happy I found your shop and blog--I had no idea anyone was using these gorgeous things this way!

Delightedly said...

Oh man. I want one of those beetles as a pet alive. They're just darling and I assume that they're easily raised in captivity.