Daub - Cathy Keys

This body of work was inspired by industrious Mud Dauber Wasps Sceliphron laetum, that share my artist studio. I feel quite an affinity to these female insects as they steadily layer up their beautiful nest one daub of mud at a time on the timber floor joist above my head. I have listened to, and watched them craft their nests, filling them with food and tucking their offspring inside. They, like me, make with layers of clay and together we do it through a steady, focused process. I think the form and texture of their structures exquisite. The graduated change in mud used to build the nests has left years of colour samples above my head of local soils and clays. A wasps arrival and industry in my art space is a little gift from nature and I watch over this nursery until their young have left. We’ve been sharing the space for over two decades now and I like to think that with each cycle I’m meeting the next generation of wasps. Daub celebrates and records my appreciation of the architecture, and companionship, of these tiny makers.