Aposematism In Fiber Art

In the natural world, bright colour combinations frequently warn of of some kind of danger – a brightly coloured animal can be poisonous in some way or being able to counter attack dangerously, or appear to be able to do so. Most animals have the instinct to stay away from such warnings for self protection. I knew this, but thought I should just check to see what Wikipedia says – and OMG I love Wikipedia! It can be the most amazing way of learning the most surprising, interesting, things. I found there’s a word for this phenomenon – aposematism, and found this etymological note “The term aposematism was coined by the English zoologist Edward Bagnall Poulton in his 1890 book The Colours of Animals. He based the term on the Ancient Greek words ἀπό apo “away” and σῆμα sēma “sign”, referring to signs that warn other animals away.”

Pandemic Pattern 4, 6″ x 8″, sample. Polyester fabric and thread, leather shapes.

Really too small a piece of textile art to be named, it is more a sample within this series, really. Having photographed for the record, I’ll send it to this year’s SAQA Spotlight Auction at the April SAQA conference. The finished piece only has to be only 6″ x 8″ and they’ll mount each in a cardboard mount in a cellophane bag showing only 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. Small purple leather circles, sueded side up (stronger brighter colour) have been sewn down onto flouro green fabric, using really bright flouro red/orange thread. Under the electron microscope everything appears only in shades of grey, and the usually bright colours we see in all kinds of representations of the corona virus module that causes Covid-19 are all added by the artist or technician in control of the image to make them clearer to viewers.

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