An interactive project with honey bees.
I have always been fascinated by pollinators and in particular honey bees which lead me to become involved in a number of art projects that allow nature to interact with my work directly altering it.
In this project I created seven small art works that were inserted into bees hives allowing 50,000 bees to interact with them over several weeks. The honey bees built comb over parts of the art or removed parts of the paper collage surfaces to create intriguing shapes.
The project was magically informative and I learned a lot about the life of bees and how they
live in harmonious communities where the individual supports the whole hive. We can learn much from them about how to live in more balanced and sustainable ways on this earth.
I love this quote:
“The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water,” said Karl Von Frisch, a Nobel-prize winning scientist, credited for discovering the waggle dance, a choreographed language bees use to "point" to the location of pollen and nectar. The life of the honeybee has captivated people across the centuries, and in recent years it’s been hard to ignore their plight, dying in their unexplained millions across the world. It’s a well know fact that, without bees, the natural cycle of life might well fall apart, and indeed Albert Einstein once reportedly said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left”.
This project was funded in thanks to an Artist Trust GAP grant this year.
‘WINGED MIGRATIONS ’ is a mixed media art installation I have been working on using found and up-cycled paper, and handmade paint. The imagery explores color and pattern inspired by butterfly wing patterns as seen under a microscope. The installation is intended to be uplifting and to bring us back to an awareness of our connection with nature, its beauty, its ability to adapt, transform and for rebirth that is also a part of the natural cycles of destruction and recreation. The process of creating this work comes from my fascination with this adaptability of nature to transform external influences including using what it has found in creative ways.
The project is a development of my interest in pollinators and their plight due to habitat loss and the impact the use pesticides has upon them. My work is intended to be a vehicle for stimulating conversations about the impact human habitation can have upon the earth and asking us to look for ways to live on earth that are regenerative and more sustainable including creating from repurposed materials.
My installation will be on display in a shopfront on John Street on the corner of John Street and Boren Ave N in the South Lake Union area for three months from August 14th 2017, as part of the Shunpike storefronts program.
A big thank you to Shunpike for funding my project.
‘On Silent Wings’ made from hand cut tyvek tells a story about the web of life and how all living beings are interconnected and rely upon one another for well being and balance.
It is part of the Art In Windows project in Bremerton. My installation is accompanied by one of my hanging mobiles and will be on exhibit for several months in the shop front.
For more information check out: http://artwindowsbremerton.com/about
This is a temporary ephemeral installation celebrating the return of spring and the return of butterflies, bees and birds to the Northern hemisphere; reminding us of the vital and magical role pollinators play in the creation of abundance and well being on planet earth.
The installation is at VALA Eastside in Redmond, 7525 166th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052
My installation is up until May 15th 2017
THE SEEDS OF HOPE
A workshop for all ages, run by artist Melissa Koch. Date to be announced.
This one day workshop introduces participants to the importance of our role as custodians of the seeds on earth, protecting diversity and freedom of life by helping to create and protect natural habitats for earth's pollinators.
The workshop will include creating up cycled paper butterflies as part of a local temporary ephemeral installation and wildflower seed balls that can be planted in urban areas to help encourage and sustain butterflies bees and birds.
Image: 'Stella - Luna', 48" X 48" found and up cycled paper, oil paint, text, china ink, by Melissa Koch.
My work in this show explores aspects of our relationship to myth and nature and looks at how culture is inextricably connected to these.
The show opens at SPACE gallery in Building C, 7448 63rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA, 98115,
in Magnuson Park, on the first floor of the building.
On Saturday May 13th, from 5 pm until 8 pm and is up until June 01, 2017.
There will be refreshments, music and a food truck at the opening.
22 local artists were selected by the Richmond Beach Community Association Board,
myself included to create an orca for this awesome public art project,
Richmond Beach Orcas On Parade.
Our orca pods will be on display for several events coming up including The Richmond Beach Strawberry Festival on May 13th from noon until 5 pm and they will be on display this summer at several sites at Richmond Beach.
Introduction to Our Beach Orcas Art ProjectFor over a century, the Richmond Beach Community Association (RBCA) has been a vital force in maintaining our neighborhood’s quality of life by bringing neighbors together at events, keeping them informed and facilitating neighborhood enhancements.
One of the most recent community enhancements is the debut of the RBCA Beach Orcas art project.
The Big Question?It all started with a simple question. In the spring of 2016, the RBCA Board spent a lot of time at Board meetings discussing the question, “How can RBCA express our deep appreciation to the entire Richmond Beach community for all they do to help make Richmond Beach a thriving, vibrant neighborhood?”
When we started brainstorming possible answers to our question, we obviously didn’t know where it would lead us. We knew we wanted the RBCA tribute to the community to be something tangible, lasting, public and first-class. We knew we wanted something that would help us as a community distinguish ourselves with our own unique neighborhood brand or identity. We just weren’t sure what the answer would be.
The Question Answered!Eventually, our early brainstorms coalesced into something concrete. In September 2016, the RBCA Board voted unanimously to launch a Richmond Beach Public Art project called Beach Orcas on Parade. Ultimately the answer took shape in the form of 22 artist-embellished Beach Orcas to be on display in prominent outdoor locations throughout our community.
We issued a Call for Artists and received over 65 proposals by very talented artists. A peer jury selected 22 art pieces for entry in our exhibit. Selected artists spent about eight weeks embellishing what is referred to in the trade as a blank. For our project, the blank (see photo above) was a hollow fiberglass whale, weighing in at about 5 lbs. and standing 23” tall and 43” wide.
Many years ago I read a Bruce Chatwin novel - Songs Of The Road- which touched my heart with his detailed account about elephants with their incredible sixth sense, fantastic memory and ability to communicate telepathically over hundreds of miles with one another.
Elephants he explains are responsible for planting trees all across the great African Steppes.
The African elephant once roamed the entire continent of Africa while the Asian elephant roamed from Syria to Northern China and the islands of Indonesia. These abundant populations have been reduced to groups in scattered areas south of the Sahara and isolated patches in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. In 1989 they were added to the international list of the most endangered species when there were about 600,000 remaining- less than one percent of their original number.
This decline has been due to a number of factors; demand for ivory, loss and destruction of natural habitats due to human settlements. Elephants are only one of many species on the endangered species list or facing extinction as a result of the impact human habitation is having upon the earth.
In 2011, I decided to dedicate myself to creating artwork that would help create an awareness about the plight of plants and animals on the earth by focusing on the beauty and uniqueness of species while opening up a conversation about ways to make a difference. Some examples include types of plants we can introduce into our gardens that encourage pollinators, stopping the use of and banning pesticides that kill insects and making artworks from found and up-cycled materials.
Last year I donated part of the proceeds from the sale of my artwork on exhibit at Museo Gallery in Langley featuring an elephant on a tightrope entitled ‘Hanging In The Balance’ to foster an orphaned baby elephant called Ndotto through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa.
Here’s is their link: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/
Thanks to posting my story on facebook a number of friends were also inspired to foster baby elephants. It is a great way to help these animals to survive and the Sheldrick Trust makes sure you get regular updates on your foster baby. It is a small one time amount of $50 to foster a baby elephant or rhino for one year. A small amount for a big cause. So check it out!
Our future depends on all of us taking positive action now!!!
If we wait any longer it might be too late.
Here are a few environmental protection organisations that are doing good work to help protect and save the earth and her creatures and your donations can really help to a make a difference:
The Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club and
The National Audubon Society,
I am happy to announce I will be participating in the January 2017 group show 'Beach Party'
at MUSEO. Hope to see you there!
Join us for BEACH PARTY January 21 from 5 to 7 PM for the gala artists' reception to open the winter themed exhibit. Come in costume!
In preparation for this special exhibit, the gallery will be closed January 1-17, 2017.
The gallery is located at: 215 First Street, Langley, WA, 98260
Image by Aldo Rossi
Winged Migrations is an ongoing interactive multimedia project, inspired by pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds, intended to stimulate a dialogue about the impact human habitation has upon nature, our relationship to our surroundings and issues about sustainability.
Thanks to an Artist Trust GAP grant awarded to me this year I will be continuing to develop this project in 2017 as an interactive installation involving bumble bees. Stay tuned.
The first part of this project has been the creation of installation work made from up-cycled materials and cut tyvek acting as visual narratives about our connection to the world.
The work is a direct response to current news issues such as the decline of pollinators due to pesticides and habitat destruction and an exploration of ways we can make a difference.The work is intended to be uplifting and to bring us back into an awareness of our connection with nature, its beauty and its ability to adapt, transform and for rebirth that is also a part of the natural cycles of destruction and recreation.The process of creating this work has grown into a fascination with this adaptability of nature to transform external influences including using what it has found in creative ways.
Using found and up-cycled materials such as thread, yarn and fabric in my exterior installations allows for interactive opportunities for animals such as birds to forage for nesting material.
A Hint of things to come.
At the beginning of next year I will begin working on a new project for which I was selected. The Beach Orcas On Parade, a Public Art Project that will place up to 20 artist-embellished Orcas on display in prominent outdoor locations throughout the community. Thanks to the Richmond Beach Community Association, in partnership with the City of Shoreline, WA, for creating this opportunity.
My project will be inspired by the web of life that connects all living beings and will be a playful reminder of the need for us to protect the oceans and natural habitats on earth.