May 24, 2007
Today's weather is not co-operating, so I have made a change in plans. I will set up at the south of the Leg. Near the Centennial flame on Friday from Noon to 2 p.m. It's bloody cold for May! I could see my breath this morning at 8 a.m. I suppose I shall have to consider weather-proofing this piece. I should take a page from the bumblebee's book and wear a big wool coat. I'd also have to water-proof the messages as well. I covered some of the tags I made at home in melted beeswax, but wasn't sure of that aesthetic. I am considering making some three-dimensional messages in jars full of images and wax, but that would make the piece less transportable.
So today I'll stay inside the hive at Latitude 53 and meet with the other bees. We are going to check in with each other and try to make verbal and thought connections among our works. Last night Nicole Fournier hosted a Live Dining experience in a parking lot near here. We foraged for dandelions, sheep's purse, and sow thistle and made soup and salads in situ. It is ironic that we had to bring in food grown locally in greenhouses outside the city because there are no spaces to grow vegetables in the concrete heart of this city. I haven't seen any hanging baskets, community gardens, or even corners that have been saved from the pavement and cement. For a city that boasts about its parks, it has very little green space in the city centre. With so many condos being built downtown it's time the city planners though about making downtown more desirable for humans and bees.
There are a few magpies hanging about the trees around the gallery, hooting at us in derision as we pass underneath their graphic black and white plumage and long, elegant tails. They are a beautiful but unsettling reminder of what we humans are: scavengers and omnivores, chasing other species away from their habitat so that we collect our shiny objects, and raise our young. What if we had been born with claws and beaks instead of noses and fingers? Would the centre of the city still be green? And not the green of a cultivated lawn, but the blue-green, brown, and grey pallet of prairie tall grass. Would the city smell of sagebrush and willow instead of exhaust fumes and donuts? I miss the prairie I grew up in. I may just have to catch a ride on a bus to the outskirts of the city and lie down on the earth under the sun. If the sun comes out, that is!