What happens when molten aluminium is poured into an anthill, allowed to dry, then excavated and cleaned off? Anthill Art – an anonymous American artist – creates intricate metallic sculptures by doing just that. These forms reveal the depth and styles of various ant species’ hills, mainly from the beds of pesky fire ants. The complex and beautiful systems of these ant beds are revealed through this process, but has created a bit of controversy. People concerned with this method of sculpture work have commented on Anthill Art’s Facebook page, where the artist has responded generally to these concerns.
“I regret every day calling it anthillart. To be honest it was a short memorable name and I went with it. I’m not really a fan of art and would never refer to myself as an artist, I guess I considered the ants to be the artists (and architects). If someone created these themselves and called it art I would call it modern art crap. That the ants created it makes me love it.
I first started doing this just out of pure interest (always having been interested in biology and science). A few of my teacher friends took them to school and camp, the kids loved it and it really seemed to get them interested in science. So, I decided to start the site and try to sell a few.
The fire ant colonies are not abandoned. The justification being that there are so many of them and I need to kill them anyway, with kids and pets around. Plus they’re an invasive species in this area and wreak havoc. Some states have eradication programs. The other ants (usually carpenter ants), I try to find abandoned nests but it doesn’t always work out. Either way, I do it sparingly and the property is still over run with them.”