Dear Friends,

For the last few weeks, the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery in Geneva has been surrounded by some surprising creatures as part of our “Mechanical Entomology” exhibition, featuring insect-inspired sculptures by four talented artists hailing from both sides of the Atlantic.

Beautifully fusing the world of natural history with metal, mechanisms and machines, this collection – our first themed exhibition – includes the mechanical creatures of Gaby Wormann; the Duellona cast bronze insect sculptures of Christopher Conte; the clockwork butterflies of Paul Swan Topen; and the Scissor Spiders of Christopher Locke. Each creation is the fruit of these artists’ fertile imaginations and artistic craftsmanship.

MeCre by Gaby Wormann
Gaby Wormann’s mind-boggling creations, which she calls MeCre (short for “Mechanical Creatures”) demonstrate a rare artistic dexterity and represent her futuristic vision of the evolution of insects: New, hybrid lifeforms – organisms fused with mechanics – that are more resistant, more efficient and more technically optimised than those presently crawling around.

The German artist takes tiny components from the world of watchmaking and micro-mechanical engineering – gears, plates, balance springs and filaments – and incorporates them into the bodies of real insects – as beautiful bespoke mechanical exoskeletons. The result is a series of unique bionic insects that appear eerily alive.

Cast bronze insects by Christopher Conte
Based in New-York, the artist Christopher Conte draws on his diverse skills and experience – including 16 years as a professional prosthetist – and uses a range of materials and construction techniques to make his sculptures, like the cast bronze insects that he has named Duellona.

Designed, engineered and constructed by Conte, these creatures feature articulated legs, hooked antennae and riveted exoskeleton over a two-part body consisting of cast bronze semi-spheres engraved with gothic motifs.

Even if much of the fine detail of these motifs is captured in the casting process, a master firearms engraver hand-engraves their form for a particularly crisp appearance. Underneath the main body, Conte has placed a watch movement to symbolise the inner workings of this mechanised creature.

Clockwork butterflies by Paul Swan Topen
Paul Swan Topen has an affinity for vintage clocks and engineering, in addition to a love of butterflies. The Scottish-born artist and designer has managed to combine these two passions to create his ‘clockwork’ butterflies, a captivating cross-pollination of insects and mechanics.

Topen takes beautiful fallen butterflies and hand-adorns them by adding sculpted brass bodies that he creates on a traditional watchmaker’s lathe. He also incorporates components from antique clocks and pocket watches, capturing the feel of mechanical, mythological creatures ready to take flight.

Scissor Spiders by Christopher Locke
American artist and teacher Christopher Locke creates artwork that he describes as “Figurative Industrial”. One example of this is his original Scissor Spider sculptures that Locke creates using scissors confiscated at US airports as part of security screenings before passengers board their flights.

Locke creates these eye-catching sculptures from disassembled scissors, bent into shape and welded together to form spiders – the scissor blades are repurposed as the spider’s legs and the finger holes are used to make up the body of the arachnid. So if you are passing through Geneva, do drop in and witness for yourself our “Mechanical Entomology” exhibition: Four artistic visions, four sculptural styles, one fascinating theme!

And if Geneva is not part of your travel plans, then do keep in touch via our Facebook and Instagram pages @mbfmadgallery.


My best regards and until next time,

Juliette Duru
Communication Manager


Mechanical Entomology

Gaby Wormann / MECRE
In situ

Gaby Wormann / MECRE
Tropidacrix dux
Unique piece, CHF 4'200.-*

Christopher Conte

Christopher Conte
Duellona white bronze
Back view

Paul Swan Topen
Bronze pupa
Animated unique piece
Price: CHF 4’400.-*

Paul Swan Topen

Christopher Locke
Scissor Spider
Size L
Price: 700 CHF.-*

Christopher Locke

Please click for a complete price list

* including 8% Swiss VAT