Spiders are taking over the Great Southern with the Sixteen Legs exhibition coming from Tasmania to Porongurup Hall in May.
The month-long celebration of spiders will kick off on April 29 with a screening of the Bookend Trust documentary Sixteen Legs.
The film explores the geology and biology of Australia’s deepest caves and follows the life cycle of prehistoric spiders, with a parallel artistic interpretation of the story by English fantasy author Neil Gaiman.
Throughout May, the Sixteen Legs: Enter the Cave Exhibition will be on display in the Porongurup Hall.
The travelling exhibition features 48 back-lit photo panels featuring the story of the science behind conservation management of caves and the spiders that live in them, alongside Gaiman’s interpretation of the story and artwork by Queensland artist Jodee Taylah.
Pieces by local artists inspired by the exhibition will also be displayed in the hall.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Bookend Trust, Oyster Harbour Catchment Group and Porongurup Friends.
Oyster Harbour Catchment Group communications officer Sayah Drummond said the exhibition would highlight the importance of spiders in the Porongurup region.
“A lot of conservation projects, the funding is sort of focused around the cute and cuddly animals like the western ring tail possum, which is great but spiders are a huge ecosystem provider,” she said.
“They control a lot of our insect population and they really need that undergrowth that’s so hard to get in a lot of places.
“When people think about spiders they think about a black, hairy big scary spider, but we have spiders of all shapes and colours, from tiny to the big ones in all the different colours.”
Locals have made spider sculptures, each carrying a code word as part of a treasure hunt that will form a self-drive tour around Porongurup and Mt Barker.
Already, there is a redback spider sculpture on display in Mt Barker, a false widow spider at the Porongurup Shop and a small jumping spider at Jingalla Winery.
For details, visit OHCG on Facebook.