The Darwin Sect, the coloured insect's tree

14.11.2014 - Dries Tack

For this second Belgian edition, the charity event “Les Sapins de Noël des Créateurs” brings together 37 of the most talented artists in Belgium to create their own vision of what a Christmas Tree should look like, interpreted by their creativity.

Florence Samain and Dave Montfort, founder of The Darwin Sect, are one these artist collectives who joined this second Belgian edition. The aim of this charity event is to raise money for breast cancer research with the international association BIG against breast cancer.

Thanks to the exhibition at Smets, one will be able to enter into a fairy-tail forest of unusual but inspired trees. Be sure to look out for The Darwin Sect and its Christmas Tree.

The Darwin Sect pays homage to the perfection of insects. The sum of their intrinsic characteristics lays bare an intricate and minuscule high-tech technology which would astound the greatest NASA engineers through their sheer ingenuity! Darwin Sect’s primary undertaking is to showcase nature’s own creativity and its beauty, characterized by the originality of the shapes, patterns and the colours it has created. Though the aesthetic character of the work is undeniable, Darwin Sect has a message which transcends mere beauty: The protection and conservation of the fragile biotopes which form the natural habitat of this precious biodiversity.

To this end, Darwin Sect supports several NGO’s responsible for conservation and environmental protection - among others, Sea Sheperd, Greenpeace, UICN, and smaller organizations such as Kokopelli. The gurus of this new, innocuous sect form an atypical couple and go by the monikers of Florence Samain and Dave Monfort. She evolved in the world of fashion, he in Information Technology. Night after night, they exhaled new life into the small and alien visitors from the four corners of the globe in their creative space situated on the ground floor of a beautiful Flemish neo-renaissance building, built in 1886, which owes its romanticism and charm to the famous Brussels architect, Edouard Parys.

After the painstaking process of mounting and staging the insects, the proud ambassadors take pride of place underneath Napoleon III domes from the Victorian era to remain true to Darwin’s time period. To protect their specimens, they have installed glass fumigant holders containing a cocktail of four essential oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, genuine lavender, and citronella) which act as a natural repellent. Contrary to other options, this alternative is completely non-toxic, and several studies have proven essential oils to be more effective and less polluting than chemical pesticides.

The Darwin Sect can be summed up as: intelligent decoration, scientific aesthetic, ornamental insects, two cats, a chamber of hidden wonders, an invitation for a voyage of discovery and exoticism, a source of inspiration, a profound addiction to nature, unadulterated emotion, and the essential element; sharing of passions and knowledge, chance encounters of humans, life, flora, minerals and lots of love…

The Darwin Sect Christmas Tree makes an echo to the child who stays in our mind. For the tree’s Christmas decorations they use coloured insects, like the green Phasmen and the red Clymena. Just like the decoration at the top of a traditional Christmas tree they use a Helicopis Acis with its brilliant wings of gold - another reason to go and see this this great exhibition which celebrates so much Christmas festivity. Why did you accept to particpate to this second belgian edition? Florence: We didn’t even talk about it. Taking part in this beautiful initiative was just an evidenceWhat was your inspirations?Dave: The early childhood, our oldest Christmas souvenir and the magic you can feel observing an ants colony. Aymeric Watine for Belgian Boutique 2014


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