Bread + Honey / Pane + Miele
Australian sculptures - photos by Tom Ross of Brilliant Creek
Bread + Honey and Pane + Miele are two series of scultural works made by bread and honeycomb; is an art collaboration between Honey Fingers, Giorgia Mocilnik and the beautiful European honeybee, Apis mellifera.
These objects highlight the intelligence of bees as animal architects; as well as the connection between bees and the food we eat.
We’ve always eaten bread + honey. Bread has been a dietary staple in the west for millennia and honey has been hunted, robbed, produced and consumed for longer than that. These materials are immemorial and can be traced to the ancients via archeological sites throughout the Mediterranean – jars of (still edible) honey were discovered alongside treasures in Egyptian tombs; loaves of bread were found, intact, in the ashes of Pompeii.
Artistically, the works are a continuation of an old idea of honeycomb attached to unexpected objects. In Botha’s Shelter, South Africa, there is a petroglyph depicting honeycomb joined to the ribs of an eland, the largest antelope in South Africa, and we have something similar in Morocco too.
With these objects the artists have gently, but deliberately, tested the adaptability of bees as animal architects. Bees build comb and make nests in many places: wall and tree cavities; compost bins; service pits in footpaths; and on baguettes, pretzels and dinner rolls. Although the shape of the breads was known, the comb the bees made was always a surprise. This is a true collaboration with the bees as, although the artists directed where comb could be built, the outcome (the shape, size, colour and number of comb segments) was improvised by the bees, in the hive.
In Australia the breads reflected the various cultures that emigrated there: Italian sourdoughs; Turkish smit; French baguettes; German pretzels. In Italy the story of the breads selected is the story about the deep traditions of Italian baking and regional styles: similar breads have different, quite interesting, shapes; ingredients change from region to region.
Many thanks to PianoBee for the use of his beehives in the making of these works real in Italy.