Moths to a Flame


You may already know that COP26 the United Nations Conference on Climate Change is due to place this year from 1- 12 November 2021 in Glasgow. 

In spite of the challenges presented by Covid-19, climate change is still the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced, and we feel that hosting COP26 is a big deal.

And so do our friends at Plymouth Energy Community (PEC)! Between us, we’ve started to help lots of people feel connected and involved in the conversation.

Moths to a Flame

We know that moths appear to be drawn to illuminations at night, spiraling in on light sources to their detriment; making them more visible to predators, distracting them from pollinating plants and sometimes even trapping or burning them.

Scientists are unclear why moths behave like this, some people think that moths use the moon to help them navigate, but it may be that they are like us and are enchanted by things that twinkle!

We  think that the mystery of moths and light speaks to us about our relationship with electricity and through the comparison, we might better understand ourselves and our impact on the planet.

our plan

In collaboration with PEC The Art and Energy Collective is planning to invite people to join us in building an artwork called ‘Moths to a Flame’ which will be installed at The Kibble Palace at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens during the conference.

While some of the activity for Moths to a Flame is on hold, we are delivering a socially-distanced prelude to the project called ‘Digital Whisper’.

With support from National Lottery and Arts Council, England; throughout the rest of 2020, we will work with thousands of participants to start making different elements of an installation that will take their voices to those in power.

Digital Whisper

Did you know that the collective noun for moths is a whisper?

Throughout the rest of 2020 we  invite you to join us in creatively exploring the world of moths in the South West of England.

A series of online events, moth observations and making activities both online and at home will culminate in an exhibition at Plymouth Art Weekender 25-27 September.

The work we make together this year will be part of a message that we send to those at COP 26 next year about our hopes for the future.

The moth’s whisper

Young people want environmental change; a voice and a way to be heard. This is evidenced by the response to Greta Thunberg’s School Strike movement. 

Miranda Barlow, a member of our collective and a writer based in Exeter has written and Illustrated a fabulous nature story book called ‘The Moth’s Whisper’ which tells the story of Marny, a newly emerged Yellow Underwing as she looks for the moon and discovers the world of humans.

Due to be published in August 2020, you will be able to order a copy from our online shop soon.


augmented reality moth colouring sheet

In collaboration with QuiverVision and especially for this project, we have developed a colouring sheet that allows you to design and the bring to life your own moth on your smart device. You can also share a video of it with your friends along with your message for the future.

Watch Moths with us!

A series of online events, called ‘Watch Moths’ will be an opportunity to explore and understand the world of moths in Devon a little better.  We will all be learning with moth experts from Devon Moth Group, Devon Wildlife Trust, Ambios and others.  Together will be finding out how moths are amazing and beautiful creatures and together, with humans, are attracted to a glow and a twinkle.

Our family friendly, experts and novices, everyone welcome, events will run June until October.  Book Here!  Each Watch Moths via zoom will be set up for an hour in the evening as the light starts dimming, and an hour in the morning to reveal what we have found.

Click here for a list of upcoming events


These are made by people like you to be installed at Glasgow COP 26
This came into Chloe's bathroom, found by Hector

Activity packs

We are making a moth activity pack for you to use at home.

  • How to make a moth friendly trap and identify the moths you catch
  • How to make a paper moth mobile
  • Moth poetry by Matt Harvey
  • Puzzles, articles and more 

These activity packs will be downloadable from our website in August, and you’ll be able to get a Moth Kit from our online shop too.

Digital Whisper at Plymouth Art Weekender this September

Lock down and social isolation feels rather like being in a chrysalis, we will all emerge from it changed in some way. We still don’t know what that future will look like, but, in spite of that, we are looking forward to producing some kind of exhibition for Plymouth Art Weekender this autumn.

We hope to incorporate moths that you’ve made and decorated, the messages for the future that you’ve shared. and digital moths that you’ve coloured in.

We are really happy to have won some support through the annual Plymouth Art Weekender ‘Soup’ Micro Funding Event. This means that we will be distributing 500 moth kits in Plymouth in September which will include the book, activity packs, augmented reality colouring sheet and make it moth making materials, so get the date in your diary!

Plymouth Art Weekender 2020. 25th-27th September

record your message for COP26

Lock down has given us all a chance to think about change and see that incredible things are possible when we set our minds to it. We know that change is needed and maybe we know a bit more about what is important to us.

Our exhibition will include a sound installation with your words. The voices of thousands of people who want to be involved in the project and talk about the Climate Emergency will resonate through the display.

  • You can use the app here to record your message right now!
  • Your message can be up to one minute long.
  • Wondering what to say? Questions you may want to consider – How does your moth reflect how you feel? How do you feel about climate change? What sort of future do you hope for? What do you want the decision makers at COP to do? What do you think we need? What are you already doing and what tips can you share?

The Art and Energy Collective and our partners PEC are very grateful to national lottery players as this project would not have been possible without support from National Lottery and Arts Council England.

This project has also been supported by LaserCutz who have given their time to cut the moths.

Exeter Community Energy are backing us to build one of the solar artworks with a group of volunteers who’d like to be involved with the project.