Connie Chappel

Portfolio: Once They are Hanging

This series was inspired by the annual worm infestation and City of Winnipeg Canker Worm Control Program.  The title, Once They Are Hanging, is a word play on gallery hanging and worm hanging. 

Opposing the tradition of gallery images being 'picture perfect', these works are rendered using mass-market one hour drugstore processing without enhancements from image editing software or fine art specialty printing. The images are manipulated manually using paint, collage, and duplicate prints dry mounted together. 

Opposing the pleasantries of nature, worms gather on trees in cancerous-like clumps or spin down on webs like free falling viruses, and attack their host - a tree leaf or an unsuspecting passer-by.  Once the worms are hanging on silken threads, pesticide is the only control http://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/bugline/news_releases/default.stm.

To many, viewing this series is as creepy and unsightly as inadvertently discovering them in mass, alive in nature.  To others, these images are grotesquely beautiful.

During the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, people were approached on the street and invited to have their picture taken with a 'worm tree'.