Collateral Colony I (2020)
Collateral Colony I (2020) takes the form of a single-channel video displayed on a flat-lying 21-inch monitor. Collateral Colony I is an artwork that digitally combines elements of ink drawing and sculpture through video while exploring ecological concepts of parasitism through a deeply researched visual analysis of the virion structures which affect bee populations. This exploration is further engaged through the use of monochromatic ink drawings which have been animated and digitally superimposed over the top of a beeswax object. Inspired by digital mock-ups used in scientific study, the beeswax in Collateral Colony I acts as the 'host', where the dark and imposing overlaid imagery represents the ‘parasite’. This optical investigation visually interprets the effects of bee viruses as darker sections of each ink drawing are visually reminiscent of wax spoils. The installation of Collateral Colony I holds great importance to the work. Positioned just below eye height where it lays flat on a black plinth, audiences must view the work from a topographical perspective. The context that this imposes on the imagery means that it appears landscape-like. The colour combination suggests that these perceived 'landscapes' may be barren or drought-ridden referring to the consequences of a land where no bees are present; a looming threat due to parasitism. The work's title, Collateral Colony I furthermore suggests that while a seemingly small adjustment to the ecosystem, species pandemics can have global impacts and disrupt an ecological chain of order.