Bark Beetles and the Art of Suze Woolf


Survivorship, by Suze Woolf, photo from Suze's website


Were you intrigued by the collaborative work between Ellie Mathews and Suze Woolf that Ellie described at her talk earlier this month? (Also on Ellie's June 2022 blog post here). Learn more about both the artist and the bug...


Scarabs: The Bug Society has invited the Book Arts Guild to hear a talk by Suze Woolf about her exploration of bark beetles in the forests of the west. On Monday, July 26, 2022 at 7pm. From their website:

"Seattle-based artist Suze Woolf first noticed evidence of bark beetles while hiking in the Cascades. As most Scarabs know, scolytid bark beetle females lay their eggs along a gallery they excavate under tree bark, to which the larvae add when the eggs hatch. These squiggles caught Woolf’s eye when she saw them on fallen bark pieces. "They look very much like a strange script that we just can’t read," she says. The resemblance to written language inspired Woolf to create a series of 40 (and counting) unconventional books that incorporate bark beetle tracks in different ways. One, called Survivorship, was inspired by the chemical warfare that takes place between mountain pine beetles and the trees they choose as hosts. The cover is an actual slice of beetle-engraved log; the pages contain ink reproductions of beetle tracks overlaid on the genetic code for monoterpene synthase, one of the enzymes that trees use to generate defensive chemicals. Other books in Woolf’s series incorporate other bits of scientific data. "They teach me things I didn’t know," Woolf says of her scienti­fic collaborators. "I get ideas I wouldn’t otherwise get." Find out more about both the artist and her beetles this month at the Scarabs meeting!"


The Scarabs meeting will be via Zoom. If you are interested in attending, write to admin@bookartsguild.org and the Zoom will be emailed to you.


Yes, this is pretty short notice. If you can't make it, don't worry, we're hoping to get Suze to give another talk in September. In the meantime, you can check out her books (and other artwork) here.

The Orchestration of Climate, by Suze Woolf, photo from Suze's website

https://www.suzewoolf-fineart.com/index.php/galleries/artistbooksother/200-bark-beetle-books