Lillian Whitaker
Eco-Instinct (2020)
Sculptural Installation: Bees-wax sculpture and handwritten paper notes
1570mm x 1200mm x 500mm (total)

Eco-Instinct (2020) is a medium-scale interdisciplinary installation which accumulates beeswax sculpture and slow-moving projected video. The work's material exploration is iterative as a projected video features a digital duplicate of the physically displayed wax object. Eco-Instinct pays homage to the mutualistic ecology of the European honeybee species and their habitual environment. In this case, this habitual environment is the Obi Obi creek and its riparian surrounds.These concepts are emphasised by the warmly-lit sculptural wax form which portrays the intricate home of a bee colony and a vessel for bee activity. The use of monochromatic mapped line imagery in the accompanying projection represents the Obi Obi Creek in geographical terms. Following these concepts, I employed a process of symbiotic collaboration with a bee colony to create the wax object which also mimics the topographical mapping of the Obi Obi Creek.This narrative is further integrated into my work by installing its sculptural aspect on a low-standing plinth to be viewed topographically - as you would a map. Video and photography are vital mediums in scientific practice, assisting with accurate observation. The use of video in this instance has offered a way of capturing, preserving and reimagining the transpiring phenomena of mutualistic activity. It is through these material, conceptual and process-based choices that I am able to question Anthropocentric ideals and establish an artistic response to ecological provocation.
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