Insects and Angel’s Wings

June 26, 2022


Insect populations are crashing so fast that entomologists are warning of increasing crop failures and broken food chains. According to a report in the journal Biological Conservation, a quarter of the world’s insects could be wiped out within just a decade, and in Britain alone, climate disruption and intensive farming have caused a 60% decline in flying insects in just 20 years.

To mark Insect Week, we are celebrating the tiny creatures on which human life depends by releasing a haunting short film by ecological writer Jay Griffiths and artist-activist Gaby Solly. Voiced by Sir Mark Rylance, Almost Invisible Angels is the latest in a series of collaborative artworks curated by Paint the Land, an initiative which links high-profile writers, with well-loved and emerging visual artists, to create rural and urban landscape art responding to the climate and ecological emergency.

“When I heard about the collapse of insect populations, I cried for three days,” Jay Griffiths writes in her blog. “I saw in one awful moment a vision of the desolated world, a devastated wasteland.” The idea for the film came to Jay in a dream: “I saw Tintern Abbey in it’s woodland home, filled with insect-angels, and the Red Rebels: in this half-dream I half-heard the voice of Mark Rylance in my head. It was the tears and the song that his voice carries.”

Dreams tell us what we really know about something, what we really feel. Dreams are an awakening. In many spiritual traditions dreams are seen as rooted to our consciousness, and to ignore them would be to sever ourselves from our connected whole. Dream of insects this week, and cherish them by campaigning against insecticides, joining a rewilding project, taking part in a bug survey:

– or simply marvelling at their beauty.


2 Responses to “Insects and Angel’s Wings”

  1. Ann Says:

    Or planting for them, as I have done everywhere I have lived for the last 30 years. It is amazing and gratifying to see so many species happily munching and humming through the yard, year after year. Anyone can plant for the insects, even if they only have room for one pot on the balcony or front porch.

    • jimbills Says:

      Yes, it helps. Little islands of safety in the sea of suburban conformity with manicured and sprayed lawns. I see so many different species of bees in my yard in spring – it also does wonders for me, personally.

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