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My work is inspired by global warming, while focusing on the relationship between humans, nature, and honey bees. The relationship between humans and bees is complex and has been cultivated for centuries. Depending on the nature of the interaction, this can illustrate the potential destruction of the environment when the complexity of a relationship is taken for granted, or it can illustrate the potential for a symbiotic interaction between humans and bees that not only helps improve and maintain the health of the earth, but that also benefits humans in ways that transcend the collection of honey. By depicting the cooperation of humans and bees, it’s possible to begin breaking down attitudes and stereotypes that pit people against nature. In particular, pollinating insects that are considered dangerous, pests, or expendable. This offers people an opportunity to understand that it is possible to develop a relationship that meets the needs of humans, bees, and the ecosystem; and how symbiotic relationships can be cultivated in other contexts, rather than depleting resources and leaving behind damage.
I combine printmaking with practical objects to come up with pieces that help prevent the collapse of our environment while reaching a large audience and capturing their attention. Nunzio Paci is an artist who focuses on the human condition; he makes his work on humans separating themselves from nature. He has inspired growth in my own work by showing me new ways of seeing how humans separate themselves and how he expresses those moments with his imagery. I express our own down fall with imagery of dead bees, barren environments, and human figures that are usually causing the destruction but I also show the symbiotic, healthy relationship that humans can have by supporting bee hives and growing wild flowers bees need to make their honey. I make this connection in my work by making wild flower seed packets, fit for our region, that people can take with them or making stickers with my e-mail so they can contact me for more information later. I hope that my work through its practicality and meaning will inspire others to advocate for a healthy Earth.
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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Horton, Shelby, "Shelby Horton" (2017). Professional Practices (ART 399). 9.