Global phenomena are intrinsically, both directly and diffusely, linked to localised events. Everything is interconnected, yet it is often only in the moment of impact upon individuals, or through consequent transformations in the minutiae of the everyday, that people understand such relative changes. These frames of reference provide a window for the relation to wider processes.
This series, Spiders from March, show spiders that have been consumed by an entomopathogenic fungus which acts as a parasite which then disables or kills the host. Fungi attach to insects – and in this case arachnids – through microscopic spores which germinate and grow, overwhelming the body’s interior and exterior. This process is dependent upon warmer, more humid conditions. The United Kingdom recently experienced its wettest winter in 250 years. These spiders were discovered in a garden shed following a particularly warm and wet winter; daffodils – symbolic of Easter – had also unseasonably flowered in mid-December the same year. The small things, objects at the periphery of attention, despite their seeming insignificance are perhaps important early casualties of wider scientific predictions regarding global climate change.
Paradoxically, the winter’s temperate, humid conditions created an effect whereby the spider’s bodies appear as if frozen. The fungus creates the visual impression of these spiders being entombed in snow – a much more haunting, fragile, beautiful fate than the actual physical act of a body violated and slowly consumed from within by a parasitic fungus. These dead objects, both intriguing and abject, dead and alive, delicate and overwhelmed, provide mute testimony to far greater environmental shifts that they could not possibly understand but are a victim of its forces.