Leafcutter ants

Discover Daro Montag’s fascinating Leafcutter ants artworks created during the 2009 Andes expedition, and featured in the Unfold exhibition and book.

drawing on used paper
Daro Montag, Leafcutter ant drawing, Amazon rainforest, 2009

Leafcutter ants – an organism in motion
Harvesting food supplies from a distant location
Following ingrained patterns of behaviour.

An oily line of carbon disrupts their path.
What happens when they encounter this totally unexpected intrusion into their world?
What choices do they have?
What decisions do they make?
Can they learn from experience and adapt to the new circumstances?
Can they incorporate this knowledge into their worldview?

In what way is our behaviour reflected in that of the ants?
In what way does their behaviour mirror ours?

What responses will we make as carbon completely changes our world?

Daro Montag’s Leafcutter ants works were part of Cape Farewell’s exquisite international touring exhibition Unfold, reaching audiences in Beijing, Liverpool, New York, Chicago, Falmouth, Newcastle, London and Vienna. They were also featured in the accompanying Unfold book.

Watch Daro’s footage of the leafcutter ants in action below, filmed during the 2009 Andes Expedition, Cape Farewell’s first expedition outside the Arctic, an 18 day trek through shrinking glaciers, cloud forests, lower forests, areas of deforestation and the Amazon.

Daro Montag and Leafcutter ants, digital video by Matt Wainwright, 2009

See also

exhibition installation view


Our exquisite exhibition toured Beijing, New York, Chicago, Vienna and across the UK
U-n-f-o-l-d book front cover

Unfold book

Released to accompany the Unfold exhibition, this exquisite book profiles the work of the artists, alongside innovative responses to climate change. Available for £18
figures dwarfed by trees in the Amazon

2009 Andes Expedition

Our first expedition outside of the Arctic visited shrinking glaciers, cloud forests, areas of deforestation and the Amazon

Daro Montag

Artist who works with living organisms and natural processes

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