Born in Henley-on-Thames, England, in 1948 / Lives and works in London and Hampshire, England
, artist and apiarist Bill Woodrow explores the ways in which bees organise themselves socially, particularly when forming a swarm. Cast in bronze and covered in gold leaf, Woodrow’s bees are in transition, on the verge of arriving at – or perhaps departing from – a stone that stands near the entrance to Vita Vitale
. This temporary location, where bees greet visitors upon arrival, underscores the reciprocal relationship between these pollinators and humans, and the crucial role each species plays in keeping the other alive. With honeybee colonies dying at terrifying rates, Rockswarm
’s use of gold leaf underscores their preciousness to nature, and its depiction of bees on the cusp of change embodies the turning point we now face in determining our own sustainability.