Sponsored by Judy Wearmouth
“We are linked through relationships, environment, community and past experiences. This ephemeral ever-changing sculpture, each link only as strong as one next to it, symbolizes the slow emergency of the bee population.”
A multi-disciplinary artist, Saskatoon resident Monique Martin’s installation at this year’s show addresses an important, if publicly under-acknowledged environmental catastrophe. The loss of bees through colony collapse, disease and habitat degradation is biologically significant, the slow emergency of her title.
It’s a theme explored in other works she has done. Here, Martin has crafted clear rectangular boxes stacked in varying heights, mimicking beehives in an apiary. They are heaped with entwined white hexagonal clay pieces whose shape replicates the tight cells of beeswax that make up the honeycomb. As the boxes rise in stacks, each contains fewer links. Some of the interlinked hexagons will be open to the elements; there are over a dozen strands placed in trees around the installation.
It is an ephemeral, ever-changing work. Some of the external links may fall or deteriorate in the natural environment. It symbolizes not only the links lost by the dramatic reduction in bee populations, but also that everything is connected in nature, including us.
Her inventive sculpture on display showcases her artistic vision and awareness. Slow Emergency is cleverly realized and thematically socially/environmentally conscious – astutely highlighting the fragility of key linkages.