Giant butterflies land at ZSL London Zoo
Monday 23 June 2008
Flutter in to view this unique photo exhibition of large butterflies. A revolutionary photography technique capturing the intricate details of butterflies down to the finest scale launches as an exhibition at ZSL London Zoo on Monday for National Insect Week.
This photography exhibit is now closed
This is the first ever exhibition of these giant butterfly prints – revealing microscopic details of these captivating insects to the smallest scale and clearing showing anatomical features like their cells, hair and scales.
The exhibit’s brainchild, Rakha Singh, will showcase 10 of his stunning photographs for the first time which each measure 4ft x 4ft and feature tropical butterflies from around the world.
This innovative technique involves photographing butterflies up to 50 times in tiny sections and ‘stitching’ together the images, creating a huge file that can be printed as a large, ultra high resolution image with incredible detail. The images are printed on compressed PVC to create a unique painting like effect.
Photographer Rakha Singh said: “For the first time people can see these intriguing insects on a large scale, which I thought was particularly important in generating awareness of butterflies and their survival. I wanted to demonstrate, through art, the amazing colours and patterns of these beautiful insects.”
ZSL London Zoo Head Keeper of BUGS, Dave Clarke, said: “We are excited to showcase these unique prints which show the exquisite detail of some of the world’s most magnificent butterflies.
“We’d love everyone to come along and celebrate National Insect Week here at ZSL London Zoo, with the opportunity to experience fun, close-up encounters with insects, as well as admiring the beautiful free-flying butterflies as they flutter around the butterfly house.”
The Zoo will be hosting a range of special activities during the week including childrens’ arts and crafts, and interactive talks from keepers where visitors can come face-to-face with some of the fascinating insects in BUGS.
Enter the world of entomology at ZSL London Zoo and share in the splendour of around 250 beautiful butterflies, more than 50 species of insects and enjoy the educational and fun activities taking place during National Insect Week.
— ENDS —
Notes to editors
This exhibit is now closed
The butterfly photography exhibition at ZSL London Zoo is the first public viewing of these amazing prints and is part of Rakha Singh’s ongoing project to eventually photograph and produce large scale prints of the entire UK butterfly species, some of which are extinct. The next part of Rakha’s project is to create a book of images 3ft x 2ft of ladybirds, beetles and other insects from around the world.
BUGS, the biodiversity and conservation exhibit, displays more than 140 species and is home to our Invertebrate Conservation Unit, one of the largest facilities for conservation breeding of invertebrates in the world. Butterfly Paradise showcases an array of beautiful butterfly species in a ‘walk though’ and tropical environment, offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about life cycles, biodiversity and climate change.
ZSL London Zoo has a large and diverse collection of live insects on display in BUGS and Butterfly Paradise and will be hosting a range of fun and interactive activities for children and their families during National Insect Week, including:
All National Insect Week activities are included in the ZSL London Zoo admission price.
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The Society runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide. For further information please visit www.zsl.org