The Five Perceptions

Taste: Butterflies taste with their feet.

Art Concept: Class performance with oranges and candy slices. It is desired that students remove footwear to become aware of their feet. The idea is to wiggle their toes while eating sweet food. For the human, there is a disconnect between simultaneously eating and being aware of our feet.


Brainstorming and Art Ideas



Further documentation:

Personal observation that butterflies in the garden enjoy chives and fruit.

Reference Books about Butterflies:

Acorn, John and Ian Sheldon. Bugs of British Columbia. Edmonton/Vancouver: Lone Pine Publishing, 2001; 28-42.

Elmhirst, Janice, Ken Fry and Doug Macaulay. Garden Bugs of British Columbia. Edmonton: Lone Pine Publishing, 2008; 101-153.

Xerces Society/Smithsonian Institution. Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden. Vancouver/Toronto: Whitecap Books, 1990.

Reference Links about Butterfly Taste and Smell:



Western Rattlesnake

 Western Rattlesnake

    Image from

Sight: The Western Rattlesnake sees infrared light via heat sensors.

Art Concept: Photographic short story/art collaboration: Rhonda Lee & Jordan

Researcher/Writer/Photographer: Rhonda Lee

Artist/Main character: Jordan

Secondary artist/character: Ronnie the Rattlesnake

The Western Rattlesnake, also known as the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, is a pit viper and like all pit vipers, has a complex 6th sense that aids in finding food—its thermosensory organs. These two organs sit in a cavity (pit) below the nostrils on either side of the head and help locate the warm-blooded birds and mammals they feed on. These sensors allow them to detect infrared light. What they see through these heat sensors is similar to what a human sees while looking at a heat map. The small population of rattlesnakes in British Columbia is found in the Southern Interior of the province. There are no wild rattlesnakes in Victoria or on Vancouver Island.

But what if there were . . .

 Jordan and the Rattlesnake in the Garden of Finnerty


          Davidia Involucrata in Bloom

One day, Jordan the artist decided to go into the oasis to draw and make sun prints. First, he found a perfect place on a bench under the Davidia Involucrata tree which was in full bloom. The tree’s white, silky handkerchiefs blew gently overhead. It was paradise. Jordan liked that he was sharing the garden with many wonderful plants and creatures.

What he didn’t know was that that day, there was a special guest in the garden. Ronnie, a Western Rattlesnake, had come to visit. However, Ronnie planned to return home almost as soon as he arrived, as he quickly realized that he was not suited to the Victoria climate. Ronnie missed the dry, hot desert and longed for sagebrush and rocky outcroppings. Just as he was leaving the garden, he spotted Jordan, but Jordan did not see him.

It was daylight so Ronnie could see Jordan well enough, but when he got about a foot away from him, he decided to turn on his night vision to get a better look.

Jordan in the Garden.JPG

  Ronnie’s Point of View

Ronnie was startled and slightly afraid—Jordan was much bigger than a bird or mouse, so he scuttled quickly away. Jordan kept on drawing happily unaware of the incident and then finally left to sit in a sunnier location to make some sun prints. Oddly enough, and it may have been the effects of too much sun, but Jordan felt like he was hypnotized, and when he made his sun print, he drew a serpentine pattern over and over with the brush. It seems that Ronnie had used his magic power to make an entanglement project with Jordan.


      Hissy Fit Sun print by Jordan

    – The End –

Book resource for rattlesnake information:

Matsuda, Brent M., David M. Green, and Patrick T. Gregory. Amphibians and Reptiles of British Columbia. Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2007, pp. 225-229.

Internet resources for rattlesnake information:



Earth Worms


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 Touch: Earthworms live in soil. They are an important element to a compost pile.

All living matter is broken down through death and decay and will pass through them.

Art Concept: Create site origin plan for a new composting community starting with leaf rubbings on thin paper.

Advertising: Worms wanted.

Black Market Real Estate: Multi-level subterranean family housing  project.

Food included. Easy move in/move out. Will build to suit.

Rubbings are an old art technique and are a simple form of printmaking. In the 1970s, artist Robert Overby used rubbings to capture architectural details of abandoned buildings destined to be knocked down. In 2016,  Du Ho So made rubbings of his entire New York apartment. (See references for more info on these artists.)

Rubbings are a tactile method of art making.

Leaf Litter Plan.JPG

 Leaf Litter (53 x 33″)

Leaf/paver/floor rubbings

Chinese paper/tracing paper/newsprint using watercolour crayons/pencils, and tea.

Detail images:

Leaf Litter Plan - Detail 1JPG.JPGLeaf Litter Plan - Detail 2.JPGLeaf Litter Plan - Detail 3.JPG

Please note: At the first sod turning, this plan will be composted!

Internet references related to earthworms:




Internet references related to rubbings and artists who use rubbings in their artwork.

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Hummingbird and moth

Hummingbird and Hummingbird (Clearwing) Moth

Internet resource that compares hummingbirds to hummingbird moth:


Art Concept: Thought experiment for a personal gallery experience using the sound of hummingbird wings along with the sound of the wings of a hummingbird (clearwing) moth which mimics the hummingbird in appearance. This will be combined with 3D hologram imagery of the birds and moths intermittently flying about the gallery. Additionally, the gallery visitor will be imaged prior to entry so that the visitor also has a hologram image that can be viewed at the same time. The gallery is set in darkness and will be set up like a garden, lush with flowers suitable for hummingbirds and moths.

The gallery visitor will walk along an aromatic path and will meet up with his/her own mirror image. The visitor will experience the wonder of being part of a 3D display that involves hearing,  involving total silence to full on buzz fest, as well as seeing both birds and insects hovering around the gallery and flitting from flower to flower. Each visitor will be restricted to 3 minutes per session alone in the gallery. The hologram images of the visitor will be retained in memory only for the duration of the experience and then deleted as the visitor exits the space.

Gallery Image

(This is not a holographic image.)

It is used to demonstrate the idea of images passing through liminal space.

Play the video below to hear the sound of a hummingbird moth.

According to Mark Fraser the creator of the above video, hummingbirds beat their wings at 80 times per second, while the hummingbird moth beats its wings at 30 times per second. People become aware of either the bird or the moth because of the buzz-like sound of their wings which are moving almost too quickly to see.

In the video below the sound of hummingbird wings is heard. Often the bird is heard but not seen.

Additional info:

Internet resource for information on the latest in holographic technology:


Bees Wax

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Honey bees secrete soft wax from glands in their abdomen. The wax hardens and is used architecturally in building and supporting the structure of the hive. It has a sweet smell that is appealing to people. It also attracts animals such as brown and black bears who love to raid hives for the honey within the honeycombs, and they will eat everything else in it, including the bees.

Art Concept:

Create a small work of art using layers of beeswax (encaustic) which is not only aromatic but is also a preservative.

In 2005 or 2006, I took a week long encaustic class and continued to practice the technique sporadically; however, it has been at least 10 years since I have used my waxes or related tools. There are other waxes that can be used for encaustic, but the smell of beeswax is pleasing and the sweet aroma lingers for a time throughout the house.

Because the project was small, I was able to do a quick setup in the kitchen where I worked by the patio door to ensure adequate ventilation.


I added a partial photograph of some garden chives and two Ginko rubbings from our small potted tree to the sunprint made earlier in May in class. Both of the rubbings were done on tracing paper, but one of them had a double layer of tracing paper–that is the one that looks crinkled. It could be quite interesting to do the entire surface that way. I then added some wax crayon marks. I wanted to put in a small piece of cord, but it is quite thick and would require many layers of wax to imbed it, so I chose this recent 2nd hand store finding instead–I’m not sure what it is called.


It’s BEEn a long time . . . (9 x 12″ encaustic collage)

As each layer of wax is added, it obscures the imagery more and more. This can be scraped back into again to reveal an obscured image more clearly. Learning what works best can be frustrating, but it can be well worth it.

A hardened bees wax painting can still be manipulated, if so desired, by using a heat gun to remelt the wax and then adding more hot wax from the melting pot and/or collage material. I feel like this work is not quite there. I want to push the chives photograph back further as well as obscure the thin cord-like material more. That will be for a future date.

Internet resources about bees:

The first website below is an excellent resource for detailed information about how the bees make wax.


Encaustic website:

There are numerous websites on using wax in art. This one (above) holds extensive information including the history of encaustic works which are known to exist from the 5th century B.C. and were created by Greek artists.

At one time, it was hard to find information on making encaustic art–especially on techniques. Today, there are several inspiring books that provide good information, including safety concerns. In 2001, Joanne Mattera was one of the first to write a book on contemporary encaustic art. It is called The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax. Visit her website:

The class viewed the work of Aganetha Dyck and her sculptural collaboration with the bees. Here is the article that accompanied that video: