The ecological artist and researcher Brandon Ballengée combines a fascination with amphibians, fish and insects with techniques of fine art imaging. For the past ten years, Ballengée's primary field of study has been amphibian species declines and deformities.
Between 2006 and 2008, The Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with Gunpowder Park and SPACE London, commissioned Ballengée to undertake a study of deformities in UK toad populations. Collaborating with ecologist Richard Sunter and groups of the public (intrinsic to his practice), the artist focused on the study of a population of toads with high levels of deformities that he discovered near to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and he has worked over two years to study possible causes of these deformities. During 2007 and 2008, the artist led numerous public field-trips and workshops at the park, in 2008 setting up a public laboratory to continue the study. Nearly 800 people participated in these activities.
The work has culminated in 2009 in an exhibition, The Case of the Deviant Toad, a publication, Malamp: The Occurence of Deformities in Amphibians , a survey of Ballengee's study of amphibians across several countries and many years published by The Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and a scientific paper written by the artist and his collaborator Professor Stan Sessions and reported on BBC News.
During 2007 and 2008, Ballengée led numerous public fieldtrips and biodiversity walks, projects with schools, workshops, study days and events, and ran a public bioart laboratory, as an integral part of his UK amphibians study and residencies at Gunpowder Park, a new country park in the Lea Valley, SPACE, a gallery in East London, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. He also led an Ecoventions Ecology Arts Day at Gunpowder Park for artists and environmental activists.
YouTube Malamp UK