Has anyone told the bees?
Telling the bees was a common practice in the ninetieth century, as evidenced by John Greenleaf Whittier’s 1858 poem 'Telling the Bees'. It is said that “telling the bees” has its origins in Celtic mythology. Beekeepers would treat the bees as family and inform them of big events such as deaths, births and marriages.
A tradition with captures the symbiotic relationship that exists between human and non-human nature. The structure of the bowl speaks to the fragility of such a relationship and the eroding of traditional ways of living in harmony with nature.
Much of my work looks at lost or disappearing knowledge, generally this is types of knowledge that are intangible or embodied. These ways of understanding the world get overlooked and undervalued in both academic settings where they defy quantification and marking schemes, and in a capitalist society where we are increasingly focused on economic value and commodification.
The choice of materials in the pieces speak to these ideas around knowledge, value and tradition.
Wax, paper, card, salt, 50mm (H) x 75mm (diameter), 2020, photographer Michael Dodds
Wax, paper, card, salt, each piece, 50mm (H) x 75mm (diameter), 2020, photographer Michael Dodds
Wax, salt, gold leaf, glass frits, paper, plastic, 2020, photograph Fiona Byrne
Wax, plastic, glass frit, gold leaf, 2020, photograph Fiona Byrne
Wax, salt, 24ct gold leaf, 2020, photograph Fiona Byrne