The Layered Woodlouse Mounds
Glazed stoneware
June 2023
Harry Gaved
Maison S.Sommet
(Fabrication assistance)
The Layered Woodlouse Mounds act as monuments to their namesake species. Although the occupants are not seen for the most part, the human viewer can expect that they are there and occasionally witness them leaving and entering.

Woodlice are drawn to the damp, dark, and warm conditions created beneath and between the layers. The surface of the mounds rise inconspicuously from the grass to create concealed chambers. Under the exterior surface is a stepped cylindrical form, this is placed on top of a decomposing wood stump that lies at the centre of the mound. All layers contain holes through to the next.

Other invertebrate species are also attracted to these conditions and can live harmoniously with woodlice, for example small spiders, slugs, and caterpillars. The mounds do not, however, provide much protection from woodlouse predators—e.g. larger spiders, frogs, slowworms, and small mammals. These species may occasionally feed on the woodlouse, keeping the ecosystem in balance.

The Mounds were displayed at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July 2023, having been funded by the Reclaim Network via Surrey Hills Arts.