Bee Time - Artist residency
April 4th - 17th
Santa Lucia, vejer de la Frontera
I have been caring for bees for the last 8 years, as a hobby, as a passion, and in service to their fascinating Being that has captured my imagination and deep interest. As a geomancer, I am fascinated by the relationship honeybees have with their environment; with the intimate knowledge of their landscape, and the relationships they weave with the flowers of the fields, which provide them with their nourishment of pollen and nectar. The 'weaving of landscape into their hive' through the collection of these substances, and the continuous flow in and out of their inner nest space and the outer environment, was the initial inspiration for the two week Bee Time art residency we initiated.
We found much inspiration in observing the flow of energy and matter, the apparent in-breath and out-breath of the colony as they go about their work. As Michael Weiler in his book 'Bees and Honey, From Flower to Jar', describes it so well: 'The movement is constantly oscillating, almost breathing, interpenetrating itself, reaching out and bringing back in again. The form of the sphere embraced is in constant change, larger, smaller, now tending more one way, now switching to the other, depending on how attractive the goal is that draws the force living at its centre. In this way we get the impression of something limb-like that is reaching out over and over again beyond the hive in order to accomplish something out there and then fetch it back to itself.' The man made hive, or the cavity chosen by wild bees, serves as a ‘membrane’ through which the bees cross in and out, transitioning from their 'inner' space to their 'outer' world, much like a cell membrane which envelops the processes of the metabolic system in a cell structure.
Over our two weeks together, through a process of a daily sharing time, which we called Hex Reflex, we arrived at a deep level of intimacy that accompanied our work. We explored the relationships beekeepers have with their hives, we practiced self organising principles inspired by Hive consciousness, experienced social cohesion, and worked with a shared vision in a fluid, seamless and beautiful way. We began constructing a large human size skep, in which we would be able to sit, in the darkness, paying attention to the dance between our own inner world and individual work, and the outer, collective life. We weaved our days with visits to local beekeepers and bee guardians, neighbours, and the local community who buzzed in and out of our outdoor studios.
The work from this residency is still unfolding. Watch this space for more info in the future...