Learning From the Bees

Selected ecopoetic and ecocritical artwork to engender discussions and invite new ways of thinking about our kinship with the honeybee.

Exposición Aprendiendo de las Abejas , 2018

Curated by Bee Time artist collective together with Dutch artist Kyra Cramer,

Learning From the Bees explores ecological relationships, creatively proposing new possibilities for coexistence and regeneration.

As a starting point, the exhibition is inviting the viewer to consider how domestication has become a form of subjugation, echoing an underlying belief of human dominion over nature. The honeybee, protagonist of transformation and renewal, may be calling us ever more strongly to change our ways of thinking about the living world, to evolve towards a genuine and deeply felt ecological consciousness; a way of feeling and thinking that seeks to remedy the chasm we have created between our lives and the interdependent dynamic relationships and rhythms of the natural world, of which we are but an integral part.

To change the way we think, we need to expand our perceptions of who we are. And the Bee, through the mystery of its being, has served as a spiritual beacon throughout human history, calling us to look at our inner life and our core values.

The expansion of our personal identity leads us to a greater social awareness. The bee metaphor takes us to a new vantage point; from an egocentric worldview to a to socio-centric one. When we look at the biology of the colony superorganism, we can learn something about the concept of the Hive Mind and its possible applications in our own social structures. Through collaborative and socially engaged art we creatively practice how it might manifest when we widen our identity from I to we.

‘Learning from the Bees’ sounds the voice of those who protest against the degradation of the honeybee to a mere honey making and pollinating machine, as well as those who propose participatory experiences that focus on restoration and remediation. Participating artists draw upon their relationship with these delphic pollinators to re-imagine our humanity.

Curated for Learning from the Bees International Conference 2018, in which scientists, honeybee conservation and environmental groups, artists, farmers and educators from over 30 countries have gathered to shift the public gaze from contemporary commercial apicultural practices towards a Culture of the Bee.


Learning From The Bees, artists

Toni Serra *) Abu Ali, Spain-Morocco / Allison Hunter, USA / Sarah Hatton, USA / Lydia Heath, UK / Áine Stapleton, Ireland / Louwrien Wijers, Netherlands / Lea Bradovich, USA / John Stark, UK / Edwina Brinckmann- Rouffaer, Netherlands / Kyra Cramer, Netherlands / Julia Valencia, Spain / Lucia Loren, Spain / Lydia Heath, UK / Nika Lopez, Spain / Nessa Darcy, Ireland / Angharad Barlow, UK / Lia Martinali, Netherlands / Amy Shelton, UK / Lynne Shapiro, USA / Nil İlkbaşaran & For the Love of Bee! collective, Turkey-NL / Mark Thompson, USA / Joan Bennàssar, Spain.


 

Learning from Bees Exhibition Dossier {pdf 1.75 Mb}

 


With the support and collaboration of:

Natural Beekeeping Trust UK, Learning from the Bees Conference, Smart Beeing, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst AFK, Westergasfabriek