Art magazine

art magazine article  

photos from Sara Mac Key

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Everything started with reading an article about bees in a Greek newspaper. It was about not feeling well and dying. And if the bees disappear, then much of our food also disappears. After that I got the idea to make a honeycomb. I felt that soon bees might not be left and I wanted to show how beautiful and amazing their lives are.

Me and my parents came to Sweden the same time with the crisis in Greece 2012. Before I came here I worked as a dog trainer and liked to create things from hard materials such as wood, glass and concrete. I had done some furniture and artwork and even kept on photography.

Here in Sweden I came in contact with wool for the first time. At first, I didn't think it was something for me, but after a trial-at-workshop I was completely reversed. Now it's my best material! I love to experiment and with wool I can test all my ideas.

When I made the honeycomb, I started cutting into light yellow wool in small pieces which I then glued together to hexagonal cells. It didn't look so good. Then I took wool and laid on top of the cell structure and tried to pin it down and create a more organic form. But it was very difficult to get it good. So I tested to mix water and wood glue and smear it over the wool and then pressed and riveted it in and around the cells. They immediately got a more rounded shape that felt right.

Then of course I wanted to have honey in my honeycomb and for that I took orange wool and mixed with epoxy glue and filled the cells. The glue makes the wool shine and looks so viscous as real honey.

The worms I made of white yarn. Then it was time to make the frame. In an ordinary beehive there are wooden frames that bees build their honeycombs in. It makes it easy for the beekeeper to harvest the honey, just to lift the frames filled with wax and honey.

I made the frame for my frame of styrofoam and dry-wooled wool around it. But the frigolite breaks after a while of all the sticks, so I also felt wet, with water and soap. When the whole honeycomb and frame were ready, I started to make the bees themselves.

First I made a steel wire frame with legs, body and head and wrapped yellow and black wool around. When I was going to do the wings I wanted them to look as natural as possible. I tried to cut them into plain paper, but it looked flat. On the internet I checked out the side effects and found photos that I wrote on transparent liming paper. I probably wrote 20-30 pairs of wings on a piece of paper. Then I brushed the epoxy glue that had to dry on each wing image before cutting it. When I cut, the edges were white and the glue as well as a bit resembled. I fixed it by taking a glow pencil and gently burning the white and giving the wings a slightly light, burnt outline. It took a lot of time and was hot and hard.
Just doing ten wing pairs took enough over twenty hours. Every night when I got home from work I sat for an hour or more. All in all, it took three months to make the honeycomb with frame and bees.

I have so many ideas, they just come. In my job at a cleaning company, I have time to think while working. Sure you get tired of working but I can't sit still and do nothing. I do art in the evenings when my child sleeps.

When my honeycomb was finished I had to exhibit it at Stenhuset, an art association here in Surahammar and a private person bought it directly. It was fun of course, but I do not do art for the sake of money. I probably wouldn't be able to do one more, I always want to do something new and unique. I think it was fine, but not as nice as the one that real bees do. They make genuine art which is also important for our life here on earth.