The Swarm (aka the laundry line)

 

IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART,  hand dyed felted painting / shawl.  REIS_D20150807JR1;   Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo

Wool: dyed with plant and insect dyes, wet felted

I was hanging my laundry when a swarm of bees flew over me. This piece depicts my favorite fancy dress laundry load. Bees swarm when the hive splits, since they successfully reproduced and there is a new queen. The new queen and her bees are looking for a new home. In this case it was a new hollow tree across the road. You can spot the queen on the shawl. The scout bees are already at the new tree, while everyone else is getting ready to fly over. They sounded like a jet engine taking off over my head. As you can see, I dropped my basket, since I instinctively ducked, before I realized that I was witnessing something amazing and wonderful.

Factory mono crop farming takes bees out of their natural habitats and away from the rhythms of their lives. When cooped up in industrial hives that live on tractor trailer truck beds, which drive from factory farm to factory farm, they don’t do their ritual mating. They loose their complicated communication dances, that keep the hive of thousands of bees operating as one. The queens are artificially inseminated in labs. As their culture deteriorates, so does their health. Bees forced to pollinate mono crops, are starved of normal nutrition and fed a sugar syrup (not honey) while on the road. As the bees continually eat pollen that is either genetically modified or sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, and are removed from their ritual lifestyle, the hive becomes sick. Sick bees are dying at an alarming rate, which causes a chain reaction. No natural pollination, no fruits, vegetables, flowers. Less vegetation changes the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, which changes the climate. Coupled with mass amounts of other pollution and the planet and it’s inhabitants are in big trouble. Dyed with madder, cochineal, rustic, fruit, vegetables, tree wood, indigo in a non toxic organic vat.

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