"Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss" - Joan Didion "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"
Agghhh, nooooo! These words & this image belongs to Maranda Elizabeth and people have been posting & re-posting it on Tumblr without asking or crediting (which is nothing new, but is still super shitty to do to someone, especially artists with disabilities). Please properly credit other people’s creative work and if you don’t know, ASK or use google’s search by image feature. It will actually take you 3-5 seconds and you might discover your new favourite artist or writer. Maranda makes an incredible zine called Telegram and they just published an anthology this year. It’s a shame that people won’t know that because they’re too lazy to care about what they’re reblogging.
Aganetha Dyck, a Canadian artist from Manitoba, takes ordinary objects and turns them into exotic and humorous art. In the series above, Dyck covered figurines with honeycombs and beework to reveal the intricacies of communication. As Dyck stated in an interview with Mason Studio,
“Honeybee communication research continues throughout the scientific and beekeeping world. Scientists and beekeepers, as well as dozens of international artists, plus a growing number of global citizens, are increasingly concerned with the health of honeybees. Communication between species is urgent. Research continues to try and prevent honeybees from disappearing from our world. The reason for the concern of disappearing honeybees is mainly due to the honeybees ability to pollinate over 40% of the world’s food supply.”
Dyck sees herself as a collaborator with the bees and finds herself amazed at their ability to create strong structures out of minimal materials. As she states,
“I never cease to wonder at the honeybee’s ability to construct strong, awesome structures using the least amount of material to construct what is required. Architects around the world have studied the strength of honeycomb structures. Both architects and artists have been influenced by the honeybee’s design patterns.”
Her artworks are a combination of message and collaboration. Overall, Dyck uses the work of the bees to remind us of their importance in our daily life. For more information on Dyck’s work click here.
I don’t know why, exactly, but I find this unspeakably creepy. Also beautiful.
Cool! Love it!
How Bees Work
In the creation story of the Kalahari Desert’s San people, a bee carries a mantis across a river. The river is wide, and the exhausted bee eventually leaves the mantis on a floating flower. The bee plants a seed in the mantis’s body before dying, and the seed grows into the first human.
The San are not the only people to include bees in their myths and stories. According to Egyptian mythology, bees were created when the tears of the sun god Ra landed on the desert sand. The Hindu love god Kamadeva carries a bow with a string made of honeybees. Bees and their hives appear in religious imagery and royal regalia in multiple cultures, and people around the world use honey and pollen in folk medicine and religious observances.
The idea that there is something divine or mystical about bees isn’t confined to religion and mythology. Until the 17th century, many people, including beekeepers, thought that bees reproduced spontaneously, without the aid of sexual reproduction. But in the 1660s, Jam Swammerdam examined a queen bee through a microscope and discovered female sex organs. Around the same time, Francesco Redi proved that maggots formed in meat only when flies had landed there. It became clear that bees and other insects reproduced by laying eggs, not by magic.
Even though they do not reproduce through autogenesis, or spontaneous generation, bees do exhibit many other traits found in stories and myths — traits that have led many cultures to view them with reverence or awe. This is particularly true of social bees, or the species that live in colonies. Social bees are organized, industrious and intelligent. They work diligently all summer in order to produce enough food to survive the winter. Social bees are clean and fastidious, and they arrange their lives around one central member of the hive — the queen.
But most bees aren’t social. They don’t live in hives or work together to support a queen. In this article, we’ll look at how social bees are different from solitary bees. We’ll also explore how bees make honey and examine the potential causes and effects of Colony Collapse Disorder.
Fun fact: my first ever research project was in kindergarten and I researched bees.
I’m so happy and proud that our project to get a vegetarian and student-run co-op space off the ground at my old university Glendon worked out and is now in its second year as home to Lunik café in the historical Manor building. It was over a year ago that I really forced this project off the ground, creating a summer job for myself and recruiting friends and allies to pull everything together to create a co-operative space for students and take advantage of the gorgeous unused space we had on campus. Before I could see it open officially, I was off to France to start a part-time teaching assistant job and fulfill a dream of living in Europe. I have since come to recognize the deep value in unused spaces; Paris is small and crowded so space is very valuable and we don’t realize how lucky we are in Canada.
I feel really priviledged to have been part of Lunik’s creation and it makes me happy that I also initiated the partnership with Gus’ Coffee, another co-operative business that sprang from Glendon. From their website:
If farmers like Gus could sell their coffee to consumers for a fairer price regardless of the market, they could guarantee both the long-term sustainability of their business, as well the work and living conditions of their workers. At ECC, we believe that we can successfully tackle these issues together and make a difference for the hundreds of people behind our favourite beverage.
Gus the coffee farmer will be visiting Lunik on Oct 6th to meet and speak with the members of Lunik. Thanks to Kaela, Natalia, Aaron and Gilles for making dreams a reality. I can’t wait to visit when I am back in Toronto.
Love this place!
"I think professional philosophers often like to make their subject smaller than it really is by setting arbitrary limits. As far as I’m concerned, philosophy is any human enterprise that involves critical thought about basic questions, like how we should live, what is the nature of reality and so on. Those questions can be asked seriously in all kinds of forms. So I don’t see the subject as restricted to nerdy philosophical papers in refereed journals. Some of the most important contributions have been literary. If you think of classical philosophy, you have Plato’s very literary dialogues, and Lucretius’s On The Nature of Things is a poem! Some parts of TS Eliot’s poems are very philosophical. Kierkegaard is a poetic writer who uses fictions, and Nietzsche uses aphorisms and poetry. They’re all philosophers."
Maria Sibylla Merian was a fine painter and superb naturalist, one of the first woman scientists we know of. Her observations of insects and their relationships with plants revolutionized botany and zoology. Maria Sibylla revealed, for the first time in print, the mystery of metamorphosis. Before her work, the prevailing opinion was that flies and worms came to life by spontaneous generation. Maria was one of the very first scientists who observed living animals and plants rather than dead specimens preserved in alcohol.
Maria Sibylla was a painter of great power at a time when in Germany, women were not permitted to earn a living as painters. But they could publish “models” for embroidery, which she did in her first book, Flowerbook, in her twenties.
Maria kept a journal of nature observations for 53 years, from age 16 to age 69. Her journal was rediscovered and published in German in 1976.
At 13, she wrote,
“I collected all the caterpillars I could find in order to study their metamorphosis. I therefore withdrew from society and devoted myself to these investigations.”
Understanding animals and their plant connections became the focus of her life, and from 1660 on she collected insects, recording and painting everything she could observe about their life cycles and behavior.
In 1699, at the age of 52 years, Maria and her daughter Dorothea set sail for the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America. In those days such a voyage took three months. It was shocking for women, especially an old woman of 52, to undertake such a voyage.
For two years the two women explored Surinam, painting insects and plants as they traveled. When Maria became ill with malaria she returned to Amsterdam, but her daughter stayed five years, continuing her mother’s insect studies.
In 1705, Maria Sibylla published Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam (Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium), lavishly illustrated with colored plates. The book earned wide acclaim and some financial success. However, her work was derided as fantasy by some naturalists for describing bird-eating spiders, (later confirmed) and found offensive by colonial officials who did not like her comments on the treatment of the indigenous Indians and African slaves. This book brought her work to the attention of the great scientist Carl Linneaus, and established her reputation.
Maria Sibyyla died from stroke in 1717. Just weeks before her death, Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, purchased all of her original works. When Peter died, they were displayed in a museum, the first in Russia, where they remain.
Text & Flower image via Morning Earth.