While in Seattle a few weeks ago, a friend brought me to “Half-Priced Books” (which Id never been to before.) I was strangely drawn to this one book, called “Heteroptera– The beautiful and the Other…”
Normally, most bug/insect related things creep me out. However, this book totally takes a different perspective at it. The official blurb from Amazon reads:
“Since 1987, drawing and painting directly from nature, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger has fought a one-woman campaign against the scientific establishment to show that artificial radioactivity, whether at high or low levels of fallout, is mutilating the insect and plant life that relate directly to genetic damage sustained by humans living under the same conditions. Following the path of the fallout from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986, she has collected bug and leaf specimens from sites in Sweden, Switzerland, and around the Chernobyl power plant itself. She has also studied insect and plant life around Sellafield in England, and at Three Mile Island in the United States. In every case, she has produced exquisite watercolors and drawings which record the malformations and growths she has found in meticulous detail, and the beauty of her art work only makes our understanding of the damage more acute…”
The book is pretty thick and there are a ton of images. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and thoroughly read through her essays- but honestly, it’s all about the stunning illustrations. Here are a few more detail shots from inside the book. I got mine for $19.99 at Half Price Books, and you could probably find it used somewhere- but if you happen to pass by it- definitely pick it up- it’s just incredible.