Sarah Hatton, a Canadian artist, uses dead bees to create beautiful works of art and bring attention to the plight of bees around the world. Her work features bees arranged in patterns symbolically linked to monoculture crops. According to Hatton, “The link between neonicotinoid pesticides and the worldwide decline of bee populations is a crisis that cannot be ignored.” We've covered Hatton's work in the past, and now she's released her latest stingingly awesome works of art.
This piece, entitled “Florid,” uses 500 dead bees in the same seed arrangement found on the seed head of a sunflower. The pattern follows the Fibonacci curve, a sequence found in many spiral arrangements in nature, and one that produces a repetitive, destabilizing visual effect when you stand in front of it. The disorientation that the viewer feels in the swarm pattern of the sunflower echoes the bees’ loss of navigation ability due to the toxins held within the very thing that provides their sustenance.
The “Circle” piece arranges thousands of bees in mandala-like patterns from famous crop circles. Here, the implication is crop-based human interference that is, once again, causing this mass disorientation.
“Cluster (Flower of Life)” uses overlapping petri dishes, each containing a cycle of dead bees, to replicate the ancient geometric Flower of Life symbol. Flower clusters are the most attractive flower type to honeybees. A cluster is also the term for the starting point of investigation in an epidemic.
Images via Sarah Hatton