Morton Bay Bugs.

Back in New Plymouth from Auckland this Friday afternoon. Unpacked, and made a beginning on photographing frozen Morton Bay Bugs.

This is not how I originally envisaged photographing these Mudbugs. When I first saw them a couple of months ago, they’d been frozen together in a large irregular, monochromatic lump. Like meat in a deep freeze.

They immediately reminded me of fossils and it was a particular fossil look I’d been after for some time. I went on a stone carving course about 18 months ago at the nearby Rangimarie Marae.

My idea was that, copying from photographs, I would carve fossils into rock and then I would photograph the stone versions. Fake fossils. It’s an ongoing project that’s been on a back element for a while, I thought anyway, until I came across those frozen Bugs on Waiheke that day in early January and it came rushing back to me and it’s been gnawing away at me which is why I was so prompt upon my return from Auckland, to simply got on with it.

Problem has been that I haven’t been able to access those exact ones. However a week or so ago, some individually wrapped Bugs turned up at a new fish shop down at the port, so I bought a box of 3. ($30)

These Bugs were individually packed, and not in one lump, so I have to rethink how I’m going to approach this. The photo above is the first attempt. (click on image to make it larger). I took one Bug out and started working with it. In the photo it’s fairly thawed out. Photo is quite interesting I feel… but whether or not it will be a stayer I don’t know yet. In the original I imagined the Alien flavour as well.

A lamp shell, Devonian 390-345 million years ago. This photo is from a scientific book. (New Zealand Adrift by Graeme Stevens).
I have been using this as a source image for the rock work.