Ok, this might be one of the most amazing artistic collaborations I’ve ever seen… Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck, and a whole bunch of bees! I’m going to let Aganetha describe this project, because she can do a much better job than I can:
First, a clarification; I am not a beekeeper. I rent the colonies of honeybees, bee hives, and apiary space from a qualified beekeeper. All my work with honeybees is overseen by a scientist and is always completed under the direction of a beekeeper. The beekeeper takes care of the bees. I am an artist interested in environmental issues and in inter-species communication, specifically interested in the power of the small. My ongoing research asks questions regarding the ramifications all living beings would experience should honey bees disappear from earth.
To begin a collaborative project with the honeybees, I choose a slightly broken object or damaged material from a second hand market place. I choose damaged objects because honeybees are meticulous beings, they continuously mend anything around them and they do pay attention to detail. To encourage the honeybees to communicate, I strategically add wax or honey, propolis or hand-made honeycomb patterns to the objects prior to placing them into their hives. At least I like to think my methods are strategic. The honeybees often think otherwise and respond to what is placed within their hive in ways that make my mind reel.
At times, the honeybees encourage me to add or delete honeycomb after they have worked on an object. As an example, by overextending their honeycomb, the honeybees encourage me to sculpt into this mass of waxed cell construction and return it to them for further consideration.