Toronto artist Ava Roth demonstrates the collaborative potential of bees in her incredible multimedia art. The ongoing series titled Honeycomb collection features a dynamic combination of hand Roth embroidery, encaustic medium, found objects and natural honeycomb created by bees.
The artist begins by sewing his drawings on Japanese paper. After that, she adds a variety of local items such as porcupine quills, burl combs, tulip leaves, and rose quartz. Once she’s done, Roth entrusts her creation to a colony of bees who quickly frame her work with richly textured honeycombs.
The fusion of natural materials with those that are handmade is a crucial part of the series. However, unlike his earlier work, which used store-bought embroidery hoops to contain the sewn element, Roth’s later pieces feature custom maple interior and exterior frames built by carpenter Bernoel Dela Vega. “Each piece requires some sort of border that separates my work from that of the bees,” says Roth. “This (change) allowed me to experiment with different sizes and shapes and helped me make every aspect of my work a hand (or a bee) made.”
These frames are also intended to mimic the dimensions of Langstroth hives, which are the typical artificial hives used in beekeeping. “I recognize that Langstroth hives are not a natural habitat for bees, but neither are most of the spaces humans currently occupy,” Roth continues. “Ultimately, this project is about exploring the ways humans collide with the natural environment today and finding ways to make something beautiful from this specific time and place.” She hopes her magnificent art will inspire more people to take action to help save the bees.
Scroll down to see some of Roth’s latest pieces. You can buy Roth’s mixed media art from her website and stay up to date with her through Instagram.