Normally a pest problem would be a huge cause for concern at a library — ahh, the collections! — but with these curious creatures, we don’t mind at all.
Each year State Library displays giant three-dimensional Christmas beetles in the Knowledge Walk to welcome summer and celebrate the festive season in true Queensland style.
Designed by former Queensland College of Art student Elishia Whitchurch, the bespoke beetles won State Library’s 2006 Season’s Greetings competition.
Elishia’s show-stopping work was recognised for supporting the values of multiple cultural groups during the festive season.
The Brisbane art student worked with Tony Powell of Planet Productions to develop the prototypes.
The jewel-like beetles are made of copper, reflecting the copper elements of the State Library building itself.
They have been immortalised on Christmas wrapping paper (sold onsite at the Library Shop) and are the subject of good-humoured debate throughout State Library by visitors and staff alike.
Starting as 30 individually named beetles (Betty, Beatrice, Brian…you get the idea!) in 2006, our beetle collection has grown to 100 sculptures. See if you can spot them all when you visit State Library this holiday season!
The beetles will adorn the outside of the building and the ceiling of the Knowledge Walk until the end of January 2019.
PS If legitimate pest problems are threatening your personal collections, we recommend this handy pest management advice from our conservation team. That should get them to stop bugging you.
Christmas beetles by artist Elishia Whitchurch, created for State Library of Queensland.