Honeycomb Swells Across Ava Roth’s Embroidered Works Made in Collaboration with Bees


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Detail of “Blue and Gold, Ithra,” encaustic, Japanese paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, glass beads, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches. All images © Ava Roth, shared with permission

Artist Ava Roth (previously) continues her lavish honeycomb-laden works made through ongoing interspecies collaboration. Working with bee colonies for the last several years, the Toronto-based artist creates delicate encaustic pieces that emphasize natural processes and the allure of organic aesthetics. Set inside wooden frames augmented by rounded forms evocative of embroidery hoops, the mixed-media compositions begin with Roth’s carefully stitched motifs and beaded embellishments. Once she’s finished her portion, she inserts the works into the hives of her six-legged collaborators to build their waxy forms.

Many of Roth’s most recent pieces involve “bridge combs,” which are segments of the prismatic cells that flow beyond the areas the artist designates. As shown in “Beaded Circles, Indigo,” these constructions add more dimension and visual intrigue to the compositions as they swell and surge above the base. The completed works convey a “tension between control and wildness” that Roth sees as a metaphorical blueprint for the future. She explains:

Emphasizing this tension feels critical because the project is fundamentally about exploring the boundaries of humans’ relationship to the natural environment…I hope these pieces are a visual representation of what that balance could look like, as we set some moderate limits on control and simultaneously allow ourselves to fall in love with a greater degree of wildness.

Roth is represented by Wall Space Gallery in Ottawa and has a few new works available, which you can find on her site and Instagram.

 

“Beaded Circles, Indigo,” encaustic, Japanese paper, embroidery floss, glass beads, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

Detail of “Beaded Circles, Indigo,” encaustic, Japanese paper, embroidery floss, glass beads, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

“Gold Honeycomb Ring with Flowers,” encaustic, Japanese paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

Detail of “Gold Honeycomb Ring with Flowers,” encaustic, Japanese paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

“Beaded Circles, Taupe,” encaustic, Japanese paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, glass beads, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

Detail of “Beaded Circles, Taupe,” encaustic, Japanese paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, glass beads, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

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