Creative collaboration is essential to art. And while this usually occurs between two or more human creators, Ava Roth prefers to work with nature. The Canada-based artist hands off her embroidery designs to bees and allows them to add their own unique touches in the form of golden honeycomb.
This multi-media art illustrates the creative potential of working with nature. Roth begins by hand-stitching geometric patterns onto Japanese rice paper. Then, she adds found items from nature, such as leaves, rocks, and porcupine quills. All of this is installed inside custom-made maple frames that resemble Langstroth hives. With these preparations in place, Roth passes her work onto bees so they can contribute their own creations.
“The collaged portion of this season’s pieces, which are made largely of encaustic and stitch work, are designed to match the intricacy of the comb in a fair exchange of labor,” Roth explains. “I had in mind, ‘a stitch for every cell.' I have also introduced more sophisticated shapes, and multiple shapes, into the comb, and the results have been very exciting.” Some of the recent pieces are divided into organized rows made up of small boxes, some of which are filled with honeycomb and others that feature Roth's embroidery.