Life inside an ant nest

By Cherene Spendlove

Life inside an ant nest

If you've ever watched ants at work or imagined what it might be like inside an ants’ nest, now is your chance to find out more! The North West Regional Science Hub is presenting a ‘science meets art’ event over 9 weeks in Armidale.

A partnership between the Armidale Tree Group, the School of Ants at the University of New England, New England Regional Art Museum, the Catalyst Club, the Department of Education and Southern New England Landcare, Little things that run the world offers the community an opportunity to imagine life as an ant.

“Everyone has a great ant story. Ants are everywhere, and anyone in Australia will have had their own unique experience with ants,” said Project Manager, Dr Kirsti Abbott.

“But how much do we really know about these charismatic invertebrates? And how much can they tell us about our environment, and ourselves?”

Artists Jonathon Larsen and Benjamin Thorn, and digital media specialist Iain Mackay, will create a giant ants’ nest in the foyer of the New England Regional Art Museum. Visitors can imagine entering an ant’s nest, controlling workers, protecting queens and foraging for food. They can make their own ants, larvae or other life stages and them to tunnels and chambers in order to grow the colony.

The six-week event culminates in an AntBlitz at Black Gully where over a 24-hour period, ants will be hunted, collected, sorted, identified, pinned and curated.

Anyone can sign up to join the blitz and learn about their local ants; they can use microscopes and Winkler bags, pin ants, and help with research through the School of Ants at the University of New England.

'Little things that run the world explores aspects of ant society like altruism and traffic flow, but also opens up the tiny world of ants for all to see, and acknowledge every day,” said Dr Abbott. “Seeing ants up close and personal allows different perspectives and always brings out the inner curious child in us.”

Imagine life as an ant at these events

Explore the giant sculptural ants’ nest in the foyer of NERAM and imagine entering an ant’s nest, controlling workers, protecting
queens and foraging for food.

Make your own ants, larvae or other life stages and put them in tunnels and chambers to grow the colony. Create a giant ant in the courtyard at NERAM for ArtPlay Day on 19 October, or take an ‘Ant Walk’ along Black Gully and explore the newly created Ant Hotels!Imagine life as an ant at these events

Participate in the AntBlitz

Be a part of the AntBlitz at Black Gully on 21 September. Over a 24-hour period ants will be hunted, counted and identified.

Anyone can sign up to join the blitz and learn about their local ants; use microscopes and Winkler bags, and help with
research through the School of Ants at the University of New England. Book by

Little things that run the world opens at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale at 2pm Saturday 16 August and is on show until 19 October 2014. School groups welcome! For school bookings contact NERAM on 02 6772 5255. For more information about the project email or project coordinator.