Sustainably sourced yarns woven to tell the Environmental stories by Artist Melissa Hagerty
Words are not the only medium to tell a special story – Melissa Hagerty mixed media artist and alumnus of Savannah College of Art and Design tells hers with an accent on sustainability using responsibly sourced fibers for an environmentally friendly future. The project is executed in collaboration with the students from SCAD and is titled “The Heart of the Hive”. The art installation is inspired from the bee hives to focus on the declining population of the bees and delves deeper into the hive mentality that has come to be a community trait globally.
Ojos de Dios – a traditional craft of weaving yarns that is used as a meditative and spiritual practice by the Native Americans. The traditional Ojos de Dios’s four point shape has been modified by her into the hexagonal shape found commonly in honeycomb. The naturally dyed fibers are sustainably and ethically sourced from various places, collected through donations, acquired from local antique markets in France and Etsy shops.
The SCAD Lacoste students are introduced to the meditative process of weaving the Ojos de Dios cells in the hexagonal form to bring together and build a unique honeycomb cell. The project is carried out as a group activity where environmental issues especially the declining bee population and stories on community engagement are shared as the weaving process goes on. After the completion of all the cells, these would be hung from a raised surface or from the ceiling in the formation of a hive. The installation, once complete would engage the visitors in a hive like surroundings with added stimulus like the audio effects of buzzing bees.
Hagerty mentions that the hive mentality emphasizes on the importance of the role of every individual in the local community at the first level and at the final level in the global community. It is only when we see ourselves in important roles that we play in the bigger scheme of things that we begin honoring our own paths and those of others while making responsible decisions with respect to our health and prosperity. These projects will only promote participatory initiatives in our local communities so that each can support the other and work together to sustain a healthy lifestyle. It is only by highlighting the Self that the project would promote the will and awareness among individuals to better serve the hive using their gifts, creative tools and passions to propel us and further us towards a brighter future for us, the earth and especially for the future generations to come. Hagerty would be completing the Heart of Hives as a part of the SCAD Lacoste summer residency at the institute.