Between Worlds

by Constance Thalken

Between Worlds is derived from the remains of a bald-faced hornet nest given to Thalken by her neighbor. Constructed of 23% plant material and 77% hornet saliva, Thalken was entranced by its beauty and marveled at its engineering. It stayed on her kitchen counter for the night. When a dazed hornet was discovered on the counter clinging to life the next morning, the nest was set outside on the patio. That evening, a foraging critter tore into it, apparently to harvest any remaining bodies. Thalken then gathered the tattered nest the next morning and brought it to her flatbed scanner to explore.

Existing in a dark celestial void, the enigmatic images of Between Worlds destabilize the gaze and suggest an endless cycle of transformation. Though deserted and fracture, the exquisitely engineered material still resonates with the life force from which it was born.


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Constance Thalken is an artist who explores the elegiac through photography and video. The life cycles of the natural world are central to her projects, which include examination of the human/animal relationship, the complexities of loss, and the interplay between life and death. 

Thalken’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Yale University Library, The Bunnen Collection, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and Dean, Ringers, Morgan, and Lawton of Orlando, FL along with private collections.

Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Ain’t Bad Magazine, Muybridge’s Horse, NUMBER, The Photo Review, Art Papers, BurnAway, National Public Radio (NPR), Lens Culture, IMPRINTS Magazine, ArtsATL, and DeConform Magazine. Photographs from her Eyes Open Slowly project are included in the book publications Rich Community by Sapling Grove Press, TN, and On Death by +KGP, NYC.

Born in Nebraska, Thalken received a BA in Psychology from Barat College and an MFA in Photography from Yale University. She is Professor Emerita at Georgia State University in the School of Art and Design in Atlanta where she resides.