There is an automatic, visceral revulsion at the slimy, wormy things of the world. It is only natural that we look down the biological hierarchy at something like fly larvae and scornfully call them maggots, or that such a term involuntarily conjures images of rotting meat, smelly trash, and various other unpleasantries. But Rebecca O'Flaherty, a Ph.D. candidate in Entomology at U.C. Davis, is aiming to change all that. Through exhibits at various fairs and through her efforts with children in the classroom, maggots are becoming a biological paintbrush in the creation of art.I have nothing against the average maggot. Helpful, when you need wound debridement. Particularly recalcitrant wound treatment. As a person of considerable recalcitrance myself, I'm all over that. But now art? Not content with being solid citizens of medical care, they must need embrace art?
Described as a synthesis of art and science, maggot art involves dipping clean maggots (raised in a lab) into a non-toxic paint and then allowing them to crawl around freely on a canvas. The paths they take become artful strokes of color.