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Being in the Land: A Sculptural Investigation of Ecology

March 20, 2012

For the past seven months I have been an artist in residence / teacher at the Burren College of Art on the West Coast of Ireland. Eileen Hutton is getting her PhD here and focusing on art and ecology.
She is making super inspiring work in collaboration with honeybees and small birds. Here are a few images from her thesis show.

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The work includes a group of nests created by making nesting boxes for birds. After the season the nest is abandoned and Eileen reclaims the nest as a document of the collaboration. A large map of the Burren is on the floor below the nests. The nests are hung in relation to where the nesting box was located in the landscape. Instead of a catalog, Eileen created takeaway nesting boxes for visitors to use at home.

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In an adjacent small room there are a series of collaborations between Eileen as beekeeper and honeybees.
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A statement by Eileen:
More now than ever, there are ethical environmental implications associated with the creation of art. Artists today must be aware of the impact their art and arts practices have on the environment. As a visual artist, my investigations into ecosystems have identified the critical role that both honeybees and birds play. My work and research are realized through the everyday, easily replicated efforts of building artificial habitats and beekeeping. Within nesting boxes and beehives, I create sculptures in collaboration with honeybees and small birds. Aimed at generating a reciprocal relationship with the natural environment, the solutions I have implemented are sustainable, ecologically beneficial, and viable, not only for myself but for others as well. My most recent exhibition, pictured here, intended to engage visitors directly by offering take away nesting boxes, instead of traditional exhibition catalogues, to deploy at home. Ultimately, it is my hope that the work provides accessible solutions and examples others can integrate into their lives as well.
You can see more on her website: eileenhutton.com

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Posts by Colin Matthes