The Bees of Sarah Hatton
The work of Ottawa-based artist Sarah Hatton is a strong political piece, specifically raising awareness of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) happening to honey populations worldwide. Early this year in Chelsea, Quebec, two whole hives fill of bees died from frostbite. The artist jumped at the chance to not let these bee deaths be in vain. Using thousands, yes thousands, of the dead bees, the artist creates geometric patterns, at times almost crop circle-esque, to display the enormity of the issue of CCD.
Patterns are also an important part of the bee’s life. The geometric honeycombs produce food and places to nurture larvae, and the bees used an intricate pattern of ‘dance’ movements to search for crops and fields or pollinate. Some of the patterns are even specific to the life forces of the bees. The composition Florid (2013) uses the Fibonacci spiral that is seen in the pattern of a sunflower seed, while Circle 1 (2013) and Circle 2 (2013) represent patterns typically found in crop circles. According to the artist “Both of these patterns have symbolic ties to agriculture, particularly the monoculture crop system that is having such a detrimental effect on bees” with the use of pesticides. The artist’s work is a call to awareness of not only the importance of these little buzzing creatures in our lives, but also just how devastatingly damaging the destruction of two hives can be to the bee population.