ELITRE Scale Shift in the crisis of Anthropocene

ELITRE Scale Shift in the crisis of Anthropocene

ELITRE Scale Shift in the crisis of Anthropocene

Ylenia Deriu: an exhibition of contemporary jewellery


curated by Andrea Colla

texts by Andrea Colla, Nico Covre e Tiziana Pers


Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Trieste


RAVE East Village Artist Residency


February 1 / April 28, 2019

opening February 1, 6 pm



The exhibition ELITRE. Scale Shift in the crisis of Anthropocene opens on Friday, February 1, 2019 at the Civic Museum of Natural History of Trieste with the works of contemporary jewelery by the designer Ylenia Deriu and the scientific contribution of the entomologist Andrea Colla.
The exhibition, which will be open to visitors until 28 April 2019, is part of the RAVE East Village Artist Residency project, and anticipates and celebrates the anniversary of Darwin Day (12 February, the day of Charles Darwin’s birth) also with collateral events: two public talks starting from the evolution and the incredible ultrastructures of beetles and butterflies


When we talk about extinction, we generally think of big mammals: iconic creatures that man has decimated through hunting, fishing, pollution and deforestation. Animals such as elephants, rhinos, whales, gorillas and pandas are disappearing. Little is said about this in the indifference of our daily lives and this silence is even more deafening when we consider insects. These are creatures that we perceive as distant from us, but they are much closer and central than we imagine. Insects share our homes and our fate, they dominate every non-marine environment and the future of life on this planet is bound to them. The size of these tiny animals, the way they look and the way they move, heighten our perception of their difference to the dominant model centred on human beings.


The exhibition presents fifteen pieces of contemporary jewellery by the artist Ylenia Deriu. These artworks have been developed through her research into the world of insects in collaboration with Andrea Colla, entomologist at the Natural History Museum in Trieste. Deriu examined thousands of species in the museum’s collection to identify those that are most significant in terms of local and global environmental changes. The specimens she selected all belong to the order Coleoptera and were studied under a microscope to observe the remarkable and unexpected range of structures, shapes and colours. These incredible compositions, the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, were the starting point for an experimental design project and an opportunity to tell such silent and important stories.

Ylenia Deriu focused in particular on the representation of Elytra, shifting the scale and reinterpreting the characteristic micro-structure of each insect to make them visible to the naked eye, and then transformed them into ornaments. She has created a series of fifteen brooches which recreate the different structures through a diverse variety of techniques and materials, including brass, coal, chalk, gold, glass beads, semi-precious stones, Corian, nylon thread, resin and copper. The heterogeneity of the materials and the complexity of the structures are encapsulated and enhanced by the synthesis of each object.


The brooches she has created will be exhibited among the Museum’s displays, alongside the insects that inspired them and accompanied by a description of the environmental changes affecting that specific insect.


Human actions and the rapid environmental changes we are witnessing are having a significant and direct impact on the life of insects: thorough research conducted in nature reserves in Germany estimate that in recent decades the total population of insects has decreased by 70 %. Similar studies in other countries, including the UK, show results that are just as alarming.  These stark numbers are having repercussions on the populations of insectivorous birds, on vertebrates such as freshwater fish and amphibians whose early diet is mainly insect-based, and on plants that rely on insects for pollination and therefore reproduction. All this will have direct consequences on our lives in ways that we cannot begin to imagine.


The following events will be held during the exhibition:

Saturday 2nd February, INCREDIBLE DETAILS – Beetles and butterflies featured in the ELITRE exhibition under the stereo microscope.

Saturday, 16th February, EVOLUTION BEFORE OUR EYES – Evidence for Evolution in the Museum collections. Both events will be led by Andrea Colla and held in the entomology and microscopy laboratory at 11 am, 12 am and 1 pm, for a maximum of 15 people.


Ylenia Deriu is a jewelry and accessory designer. She finds inspiration in the morphological complexity of nature and the rationality of industrial production. She has a passion for brass, wood, fabric and anything that can be molded, cut, sewn or welded. Her works has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, such as MAD Museum of Art and Design, New York (USA); Reinstein|Ross Gallery, New York (USA); The Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach (USA); Art Gallery PUTTI, Riga (Latvia); ARTLIFE Gallery, Venice (Italy).


RAVE East Village Artist Residency is a project devised by the artists Isabella and Tiziana Pers and deals with the role of contemporary art in relation to the otherness represented by animals, and more generally with the need to rethink ourselves and our world through biocentrism. It supports artistic research and production, and promotes multidisciplinary dialogues with artists, critics, philosophers, activists and scientists promoting in this context non-specist thinking. The project takes place in the historic village of Soleschiano (Friuli, Italy) inhabited by animals that were rescued from the slaughterhouse by Tiziana  actions. It is realized by Aps East Village with the support of regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, in collaboration with All/Udine University, Trieste Contemporanea, Gallinae in Fabula, Musiz Foundation, OIPA, main partner: Vulcano unità di produzione contemporanea.








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