The honeycomb always serves as a constant tribute to balance and proportion in the structures found in nature, and Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck has found an ingenious way to incorporate the honeycombs found in beehives in her work: She induces bees to build their hives around and on pre-existing artifacts which are broken or missing parts.
The artist has worked with beekeepers and scientists for decades, and those experiences have informed her recent waxy works of art, which use as a starting point Edwardian figurines as well as dilapidated helmets, shoes, and sports equipment, all enhanced by structures that were created by apiarian laborers.
Dyck covers specific areas of the piece to entice the bees before she puts them in the hive. Eventually the honeybees “mend” the damaged parts with their honeycomb layers.
As Dyck told The Creators Project,
While working with honeybees I discovered their methods of construction and their ability to mend the hive’s cracks and crevices with honeycomb, wax and propolis. I thought of the vast number of damaged figurines in antique shops and second-hand stores. I knew honeybees were masters of mending and decided to give a selection of these now unwanted, damaged, figurines to the honeybees. I was surprised that once the honeybees had mended the objects, the figurines became collectibles again.
Dyck also said, “Throughout my life I’ve had an interest in figurines and collectibles. I wondered about dust and dusting of figurines and of the glass cabinets containing these untouchable treasures. These collectibles were beyond my reach as a child and adult alike.”
This unusual method requires a great deal of patience and knowledge of the ways of bees: “My patience is due to the honeybees themselves. They have routines; they must not be disturbed any more than necessary and only for a few minutes at a time.”
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