Aganetha Dyck has thousands, maybe millions, of collaborators for her art. Working with bees she rents from a keeper, she gives ordinary objects like shoes, footballs, helmets, and chipped thrift store knickknacks a second life — cloaked in honeycomb.
For Dyck, this collaboration is a form of what she calls "interspecies communication," where human and apian artists work in dialogue. She dabs wax, honey, propolis, or honeycomb patterns to encourage bees to build on certain parts of an object before placing it into a beehive specially designed for this purpose. Think of it as a kind of apian 3D-printing.
But the ultimate honeycombed-object that comes out is at the will of the bees. In material and in design, her sculptures are a melding of the organic and inorganic.
Her (and the bee's) canvas includes dry cleaner hangers, shoes, helmets, and tschotskes found at second at stores. The original objects are exceedingly ordinary — and imperfect in their ordinary way. "I choose damaged objects because honeybees are meticulous beings," she's said. "They continuously mend anything around them and they do pay attention to detail."
It's easy to forget honeybees when they aren't out to sting you, but the small insects are responsible for pollinating a large swathe of our farmland. Without bees, we would starve. Dyck's work is a reminder of the inextricably tangled fates of humans and bees, two species quietly collaborating for thousands of years. [Aganetha Dyck via Colossal]
All images by Peter Dyck