Judi Harvest

Symbiosis

Berkshire Botanical Garden, June 10–July 24, 2022

My work is concerned with the fragility of life and the search for beauty. I am a multidisciplinary artist. I became a beekeeper in 2006 when I heard about Colony Collapse Disorder, the name given to the mysterious disappearance of honeybees. In 2013, I created a garden for honeybees on a former dumping ground for glass in Murano, Italy, behind the factory where I work. This brought awareness to the endangered honeybees and the endangered glass masters, two colonies of beauty on the road to extinction. The exhibition, DENATURED: Honeybees + Murano was part of the 2013 Venice Biennale. The Murano glass, gold leaf and wire Honey Vessel sculptures were created for this exhibition and represent the symbiotic relationship between honeybees and glass masters.

Now, nine years later, the four honeybee hives have increased to eight and the garden is an oasis, yet the glass masters are even more endangered. My artworks and honey sales help support the garden and the honeybees in Murano. My current series titled NIGHT AND DAY: Bats + Bees is concerned with 24/7 pollination. When the bees go inside at sundown, the bats come out and pollinate the night blooming crops including bananas, chocolate, cashews, coffee, coconuts, agave for tequila, avocados, mangos, plus they eat 1000 mosquitoes each, per hour. Bats and bees are taken for granted and disappearing due to loss of habitat, pesticides stress and misinformation. My goal is to bring awareness through art to their beauty, irreplaceable value to our ecosystem and their complex and fundamental lives which are inseparable from ours. Inspired by nature, I use beeswax in my encaustic paintings and honeycomb sculptures and often shapes, colors and textures from bees, bats and flowers. For me there is no difference between art and life.

Judi Harvest
June, 2022

© 2022 Judi Harvest

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