Summary of Bee Time Residency

an installation by Jorge Gallardo

an installation by Jorge Gallardo

Spring 2016 – Santa Lucia, Vejer de la Frontera
spanish version below

A constant theme in my artistic work is identity. Being uproot… The change of personality or role in life… the self-definition in continuous process of mutation influenced by the ‘environment’, as if we talked about being a chameleon.

I grew up in the countryside, where I was used to pass long time contemplating nature, sharing with and taking care of my grandpa’s animals. When Karmit EvenZur proposed me to take part in Bee Time, sending me a video from apiarist Maurice Chaudière, I’ve easily identified myself with his natural relationship with bees and still felt delighted by his ability. Fragility, after a new fresh start, was again present in my personal life and the idea to dedicate two weeks to the research of bees’ worlds in collaboration with other artists, came just on time to help me explore my new landscape, through the study of something I was felling new and familiar at the same time. The plan to build a human size skep, in which we would be able to sit and just perceive, attracted me both as a spiritual and practical idea, giving me the chance to learn to weave using reed or straw plentiful in the region.

human size skep
Photographic documentation was a common activity in my last years and a form of expression since my childhood. I knew that I would do it again during the residency; although with the inside struggle to not stay caught up behind the camera. I wished to be an active part of the moment instead of the contemplative eye trapped in its own perception of reality. This concern was my only clear goal before the commencement.

During the two weeks of intimate conviviality with Lydia, Florence, Jorge Gallardo and Karmit, I felt embraced in an open and organic substance. Our talks named Hex Reflex served as a shared diary, which helped me to feel well grounded and simultaneously unfolding and enjoying learning with and from the others. The horizontality in our organization system was giving rise to a feeling of active lightness. I’ve taken great pleasure in handmade work and the time that felt suspended in order to let us feel. The meetings with local beekeepers and visits from neighbors strengthened our oneness as group. The concepts of Inner and Outer, together with the well-defined roles in bees’ society, helped me to create a new point of view on my own identity, leaving a feeling of unity and connection, balancing up the link contemplation/action.

hex reflex time
The residency gave me the opportunity to learn and build a global point of view on apiculture, letting me overlap the different ways of relation with bees: from the spiritual and naturalistic one to the oppressive, unsustainable honey industry. In that sense, it made me see the labour of natural beekeepers as a political and existential act and reinforced in me the firm belief in the power of the small and the subtle.

Loud Silence Stop is my video impression on bees’ present, realized with the collaboration of Lydia Heath.

speaking with the hive

Resumen de la residencia artística Bee Time

Primavera 2016 – Santa Lucia, Vejer de la Frontera

Una constante en mi trabajo artístico gira en torno a la identidad. El desarraigo, el cambio de personalidad o rol en la vida, la autodefinición en constante proceso de mutación, influida por el ‘ambiente’, como si de un camaleón hablásemos.

Crecí en el campo, donde pasaba largos ratos contemplando la naturaleza, compartiendo con y cuidando los animales de mis abuelos. Cuando Karmit EvenZur me propuso participar en Bee Time, enviándome un vídeo del apicultor Maurice Chaudière, me identifique con facilidad con la relación natural que el tenía con las abejas y aun quedé maravillada de su habilidad. La fragilidad y la re-definición tras un nuevo borrón y vuelta a empezar, eran de nuevo algo muy presente en mi vida personal y la idea de dedicar dos semanas al estudio del mundo de las abejas en colaboración con otros artistas, me pareció una propuesta muy oportuna, que podría ayudarme a conocer mi nuevo paisaje, desde el estudio de algo desconocido y aun muy familiar. El planteamiento de construcción de una colmena de tamaño humano, en la que uno podría sentarse y estar, me atraía como idea espiritual y práctica, por el hecho de aprender a tejer de mañera tradicional con caña o paja, abundantes en la zona.

Miguel Ángel - our local teacher on weaving with reed

Miguel Ángel – our local teacher on weaving with reed

La documentación fotográfica fue parte recurrente en mi actividad de los últimos años y una forma de expresión desde la infancia. Sabía que de nuevo lo haría en el trascurso de la residencia, aun con la lucha interna de no quedarme únicamente en el viaje originado desde detrás de la cámara. Quería ser parte activa del momento y no el ojo contemplativo, que se queda atrapado en su propia percepción de la realidad. Esta inquietud era mi único objetivo claro antes de empezar.

Durante las dos semanas de convivencia muy cercana con Lydia, Florence, Jorge Gallardo y Karmit me sentí abrazada en un ente abierto y orgánico. Nuestras charlas reflexivas o diario compartido me ayudaron a tomar tierra y a la vez expandirme y gozar del aprender de y con los demás. La horizontalidad en nuestro sistema de organización daba lugar a una ligereza activa. Disfrute el trabajo manual y el tiempo, que parecía suspendido para dejarnos lugar a sentir. Los encuentros con los apicultores y las visitas de los vecinos, reforzaban nuestra unidad como grupo. Los conceptos de interior-exterior de la colmena y el rol muy bien definido de cada miembro de esta sociedad, me ayudaron a crear una nueva mirada sobre mi propia identidad, dejando en mi un sentimiento de unidad y conexión, equilibrando la relación contemplación-acción.

Lydia Heath's work

Lydia Heath’s piece of work in front of a hive

La residencia me dio la oportunidad de aprender sobre apicultura de mañera global, permitiéndome superponer las diferentes mañeras de relación con las abejas: desde la espiritual y naturalista hasta la insostenible y opresiva industria de la miel. En este sentido me hizo ver la labor del apicultor natural como un acto político y existencial, y reforzó mi convicción de seguir creyendo en el poder de lo pequeño y lo sutil.

Alto silencio, para es mi vídeo impresión sobre el presente de las abejas, realizado en colaboración con Lydia Heath.

a moment of our last HexReflex

a moment of our last HexReflex at Bee Time Residency 2016

cata – exploring perception

Cata - an open investigation

Cata is a tool, which represents an open investigation about perception. It started in 2012 as an artistic installation, first shown at Picnic Festival II, Espacio Naranjo / 2013, La New Fair 2014, Sal A La Calle Festival and FFFF: Flow&Focus Fast Forward (RE)CIVILIZATION Residence / 2015.

Nowadays the idea was transferred on a handmade, unique and numerated piece of reed, which is used as a ‘therapeutical’ tool.

I’ve created this place here with the longing to put in common our impressions, so we could one day, explain and understand what exactly happens in our brains and why and how we feel so moved by the unexpected eye which intimidate us.

Here are some shared impressions, sent to me beforehand:

Something happens when I see myself – when I look myself in the eye…healing…enlightenment?…acknowledgement…when I first looked through the ‘kal-eye-see-scope’, I felt something stir, come alive within and I felt I was able to value myself…‘ / Felicity Lamb

To see my own eye looking back was something unexpected, slightly shocking, and in that moment I recognized all the thresholds I’d passed through, all the pain and delight, all the loneliness; in short, all that life is was reflected in that moment. I admit it wasn’t easy; I felt a sadness but at the same time a recognition of the importance of all we’d all been through, and the call to keep working on this level for the good of myself and those around me.‘ / Henry Fletcher

SO WHAT WAS THE FIRST FEELING FOR YOU?