The beetles are back at State Library

As December dawns, a cheerful swarm of beetles descend on State Library of Queensland.

But this is the one pest infestation we don’t mind taking over the building!

In a popular annual tradition, State Library displays giant three-dimensional copper Christmas beetles throughout the building to welcome summer and celebrate the festive season in true Queensland style.

Designed by former Queensland College of Art student Elishia Whitchurch, the bespoke beetles won State Library’s 2006 Season’s Greetings competition.

Elishia’s creative work was recognised for supporting the values of multiple cultural groups during the festive season.

Elishia worked with Tony Powell of Planet Productions to develop the prototypes, and the collection has now grown to 100 sculptures.

The jewel-like beetles are made of copper, reflecting the copper elements of the State Library building itself.

This collection of curious creatures are the subject of good-humoured debate throughout State Library by visitors and staff alike (huge bugs have a habit of polarising opinions, don’t they) — but there’s always a buzz in the air when the beetles make their yearly appearance.

These beloved copper beauties will adorn the walls (appropriately physically distanced, of course!) until January 2021.

If legitimate pest problems are threatening your personal collections, we recommend this handy pest management advice from our conservation team. That should get them to stop bugging you.


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I really really really love the slq beetles.

I Love this show, a reminder of my Powerhouse Exhibition in 2001, The Architecture of a Bug. Please access my website.

As a child, when we saw all the 'Christmas Beetles' outside on the patio near the light, we knew Christmas was close. I haven't seen one for years. They were like little wandering jewels. So beautiful.