Drawing as a Way of Knowing - Insects

The workshop offers an intensive study of insects to initiate artistic contact with endangered fellow creatures. You will learn drawing-based research methods and work in Berlin´s Natural History Museum and the Microscopy Center of Humboldt University.

By the means of drawing, our workshop will allow an intensive study of insects and deepen the understanding of their highly endangered world.

Artists of all disciplines are increasingly facing the question of how to confront the ever more apparent reality of a destroyed planet. The raging extinction of species calls for strategies of increased attention to connect with what is not yet fully lost.

Drawing from nature may have lost its naiveté, but continues to be a productive way to gain knowledge and make contact. We teach drawing techniques that sharpen your perception and enable you to deeply experience phenomena through your eyes and hands.

On an excursion to the collections of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin we will meet insect experts, draw models and specimens. During the following two days, at the Humboldt University Microscopy Center, participants will learn how to use microscopes and trace the microcosm of the insect world.

The course concept follows the idea of a "nature laboratory" in which students can intensively deal with natural forms as a basis for their artistic work.



1st day - Meeting with experts and examination of insects from the collection at Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

2nd day - Drawing specimens on the microscope at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Microscopy Center

3rd day - Drawing at the Microscopy Center second part, final colloquium

Kerstin Hille is a visual artist and head of the laboratory for drawing at the Berlin University of the Arts. After graduating as a master student in 2001 at the weissensee kunsthochschule berlin, she worked at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in 2004, where she made scientific drawings in the zoology department. As an artist, she works in parallel with drawing and printmaking, forming intersections here and experimentally exploring the possibilities of these two media. Together with Angela Nikolai (née Bösl), she published PFLANZEN FORMEN LEHRE in 2016, which brings together historical and current positions in the study of plants in drawing at the Berlin University of the Arts.




Oliver Thie is a visual artist and researcher from Berlin. In cooperation projects with scientists he establishes hand drawing methods as a way of knowledge production. In 2018 he focused on a collection of minerals in the Temporary Object Lab at Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin. In 2016 he accompanied a biological expedition through the USA to study the social behaviour of aphids. From 2014 to 2016 he was artist in residence at the Natural History Museum Berlin, where he interpreted microstructures on the Hawaiian cave-dwelling cicada (an insect).




Run period:
31.07.2023 – 02.08.2023
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 390

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

Registration deadline has passed. Limited places still available.