Pollination: Beyond the Garden
October 29 - December 3, 2011
POLLINATION: BEYOND THE GARDEN. Eleven artists interpret pollination in the ancient beeswax-based medium of encaustic.
When Gregory Wright was asked to curate an exhibition of art in encaustic for the Brush Art Gallery & Artists’ Studios, his dream was to find a powerful and poetic concept that would bring together artists who work in this striking medium. It was important to him that the medium be secondary to a cohesive theme. He chose pollination as a focal point because of its nuanced definitions. He also wanted to use the beautiful and life-sustaining pollinating activities of bees, producers of the wax used by encaustic artists, as a point of inspiration.
To further enhance the scientific and ecological aspects of pollination, Gregory invited Laura Tyler, an artist, beekeeper, and producer of a lyrical documentary about bees and beekeepers, to show her film, “Sister Bee,” and to speak about it. Tony Lulek, President of the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association, was also invited to educate us on the environmental issues concerning bees, such as Colony Collapse Disorder. As with other exhibitions in the Brush Art Laura TylerGallery’s Art of Nature Exhibition/Education Series, Pollination is a fusion of art and science. It is intended to broaden the cultural aspects of this exhibition as well as to stress the importance of bees as pollinators and producers of the wax used by artists in creating art with encaustic.
Pollination can be defined in so many ways: literally, emotionally, metaphorically, politically or poetically. Each artist was chosen for his or her unique vision and ability to use encaustic to express it. Curator Gregory Wright looked for artists whose work speaks of movement, change, storytelling and reformation. As you look at the works, you will find motion, creation and the elapsing of time to be common threads.
Kim Bernard’s work embodies movement with its elegant gestures. Binnie Birstein and Milisa Galazzi speak in a lyrical and metaphorical manner about the path bees follow. Lynette Haggard’s work is a collection that demonstrates the birth of a new object from the union of two others. Sue Katz and Gregory Wright used pollination as a metaphor to make a social networking commentary. Nancy Natale’s work displays a mathematically formal arrangement that alludes to the order of the beehive and the colony, yet contains a philosophic view about life and society. Toby Sisson’s use of marks and shapes that combine and reform are reminiscent of the act of pollination. Laura Tyler uses flower parts, the essence of pollen itself, combined andMilisa Galazzi Pollination reconfigured to convey a sense of rebirth. Donna Talman’s works show a progression and path, and symbolize the fragile transportation of pollen with a timeless, ancient sense. Kellie Weeks relates to fluid aquatic movements with a scientific approach to pollination.
RELATED EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
Pollination: Beyond the Garden is the next show in the Brush Gallery’s Art of Nature Exhibition and Education Series. Created as collaborations between the Brush Gallery and a variety of natural and scientific organizations, these exhibitions use art to focus attention on important environmental and ecological issues.
Sister Bee is a touching documentary film inspired by the wonder and curiosity of filmmaker, artist and beekeeper, Laura Tyler. For the past eleven years, her bees have continued to be a source of creativity and imagination in her artwork. Her view of bees is poetic and magical. Tyler sees them as age-old symbols of industry and purity, rising with the sun to meet the flowers. Binnie Birstein Brush GalleryEach part of a worker bee from her feet to her eyeballs is covered with tiny hairs on which male pollen is caught, carried and delivered to female flowers. Pollen connects with an ovule and makes a seed. Their work suggests transformation and duality. In the bees we see alchemy, order and chaos; darkness and light; male and female; work and rest; sweetness and pain.
Norfolk County Beekeepers Association president, Tony Lulek, has noted that bees have inspired an international conversation about our treatment of the environment. Canaries in the coal mine of the pollinator world, honeybees are an ecological early warning system. The onset of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) several years ago brought into sharp focus the honeybee’s plight and as a result drew more attention to the changes in our environment and the state of our agricultural system Theories about the causes of CCD emerged almost as quickly as the bees disappeared. No definitive answer has yet been identified, but like other beekeepers, Lulek believes CCD is a condition that was brought about by pesticides, parasites, genetically modified crops, lack of biodiversity and environmental toxins. As a beekeeper, Lulek has a first-hand look at the damage being done. Not entirely pessimistic, he encourages us to help change these conditions. “The most important thing is that you have a choice and that you CAN make a difference“, he states. He suggests that we stop using pesticides and herbicides on our lawns, support local, organic farmers by buying direct, or join a community supported agricultural farm. He hopes we make better choices for ourselves, our families, our communities and our world.
Exhibition Dates: October 29 - December 3, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 6, 2011, 2 – 4 pm
Artists’ Talks: Saturday, November 12, 2011, 2 -4 pm
Beekeeper Day: Saturday, November 19, 12 – 4 pm (Screening of documentary film, Sister Bee and talks by members of the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association)
Gregory Wright (Curator)