Sarah Hatton - Circle 1, 2013_36 x 36_mixed media on panel

Bee Works – Press Release

Bee Works – Press Release

Sarah Hatton’s Bee Works – Thousands of dead honeybees arranged into dizzying mathematical patterns

Exhibition: March 12 – May 2, 2015
Vernissage: Saturday, March 14, 2015, 3pm – 6pm


At the vernissage on Saturday, March 14, 2015 the Quebec company Intermiel will offer mead wine and honey tasting.

Visual Voice Gallery is delighted to present the works of Outaouais artist Sarah Hatton. Hatton raises awareness of the link between neonicotinoid pesticides and the worldwide decline of bee populations by arranging dead bees in vertigo-inducing mathematical patterns symbolically linked to monoculture crops, such as the Fibonacci spiral found in the seed pattern of the sunflower bloom.

Florid places 500 dead bees in the same seed arrangement found on the seed head of a sunflower. The pattern follows the Fibonacci curve – a sequence found in many spiral arrangements in nature, and one that produces a repetitive, destabilizing visual effect when you stand in front of it. 

The disorientation that the viewer feels in the swarm pattern of the sunflower echoes the bees’ loss of ability to navigate due to the toxins held within the very thing that provides their sustenance.

The Circle pieces arrange thousands of bees in mandala-like patterns from famous crop circles. Here, the implication is crop-based human interference that is, once again, causing mass disorientation. The repetition in these patterns conveys the pathos of a mass burial and the maddening frustration of a disorienting epidemic.

Cluster (Flower of Life)
The Flower of Life is an ancient geometric symbol that forms a hexagonal floral cluster pattern from overlapping circles. Honeybees rely on their clustering instinct to survive.

Some of the most attractive flowers to honeybees are those with multiple flower clusters, a trait that makes these flowers especially alluring and deadly when exposed to systemic pesticides.
A cluster is the term for the starting point of an investigation for epidemiologists.
Hatton has arranged laboratory-grade petri dishes in this overlapping pattern, each dish lined with a cycle of dead honeybees.

Sarah Hatton was born in the UK, and raised in Barbados and Canada.
She received her BFA from Queen’s University and her MFA from the University of Calgary, and is the recipient of numerous awards for art and academics.
Her deep interest in human nature, mortality, patterns, and her insatiable curiosity about the natural world are found throughout her paintings and installation work. Her “Bee Works”, made from thousands of dead honeybees, received international acclaim, balancing artistry with advocacy, and winning the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2014.
Hatton lives and works in Chelsea, Quebec, one of Canada’s most creative and environmentally-friendly communities.

Visual Voice Gallery

Belgo Building
372 Ste-Catherine West
space 421
Montreal QC H3B 1A2

Opening hours

Wednesday – Saturday, 12:00pm – 5:30pm
To learn more about Hatton’s work:


Twitter: sarah_hatton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.