The Bees and the Birds at Calories
Monique Martin’s interest in bees and our relationship to them began during a residency in Paris. Martin spent a year researching the patterns and lifecycles of bees, interacting with hives and learning from beekeepers. Her large intricate prints show an intimate understanding of hives in various states of health, reminding us of the need to address the deterioration of bee communities and how this reflects human environmental impact.
We learned about Monique’s work on bees during her Continuous exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council.
Monique’s exhibit at Calories is part of a larger collaboration involving students from Georges Vanier Catholic Fine Arts School (grade 7 and 8) and St Philip School (grade 7) and Dr. Barry Brown from Bar2Bee Farms. The beehives painted by the students will be populated with bees from Dr. Barry Brown’s bee colonies and installed on the roof of Calories in May. We are thrilled to be a part of a project aiming to bring nature closer to our urban landscape and participate in local sustainable food production while increasing awareness of Saskatchewan bee population health.
This exhibition combines two bodies of work: Continuous, an exhibition about the decline of the bees and Nidificate, and exhibition about our attachment to the land and our home.
Using bees as the subject, the works explore the fragile nature of existence, the interplay between humans and small creatures, and the communication patterns of our world. The prints explore the relationships within the hives and how those relationships mimic and contradict those in the human population. The cyclical nature of both bee and human populations is represented through the sequential nature of the artwork. The newly recognised loss of bee populations is commented on through the artwork as well as the historical links bees have with humans.
Nidification is a word that can be interpreted in many ways. Ultimately humans are animals with basic primal needs, hard wired into us, that we can not change. The act of “building a nest” is nothing but a normal human response to being alive. We want to feel safe and sheltered but also have the freedom to spread our wings and fly.
Monique Martin is a multi-disciplinary artist and art educator based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Monique works in printmaking, clay, sculpture and pastels. Monique’s artwork often utilizes historically significant symbols and images to express her ideas. Many ideas, symbols and meanings are gathered while traveling and seeing new images, studying the masters and meeting other contemporary artists. Monique researches many of her concepts in detail prior to creating her work.
Monique is also an art educator. She received the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History (2007) and the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in (2009). Monique was named one of the Top 100 printmakers in Canada in the National Printmaking Awards. Monique is also a two-time winner of a National Teaching Award for combining art into other subject areas.
For more information please visit www.moniqueart.com