Melliferopolis artist-in-residence 2014

Last week Melliferopolis artist-in-resident Nigel Helyer* arrived to Helsinki from Sydney, Australia.  As a part of his stay he will run a workshop called Bees for Architecture and Architecture for Bees in the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. During the workshop 9-11th May, 2014  Nigel aims at co-creating with workshop participants and bees a man-like figure made mainly out of wood and felt and exhibit it in the Garden during this summer. The Wicker Man will also be a home for a colony of bees.

The Call is open until 23rd May, please find the description and registration instructions here:

Melliferopolis Workshop III_text

Ulla, Christina and Nigel in Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden, greeting the Hexa-Hive bees.
Ulla, Christina and Nigel in Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden, greeting the Hexa-Hive bees.


Bees and Humans have evolved a complex interspecies relationship over thousands of years. The relationship is asymmetrical and primarily based upon the exploitation of the bee as a source of honey and wax; as a significant pollinator of agricultural crops and intangibly as a metaphoric and ideological symbol – most often harnessed in support of authoritarian, militaristic and industrial world-views that espouse, order, obedience, tireless labour and selfless loyalty, a harmonious and regular world-order.

 Architecture for Bees inverts these tropes by seeking to create Bee friendly hive structures that are designed solely for the benefit of the super-organism, rather than the kleptomaniac tendencies of the bee farmer.

Architecture for Bees will create a series of unconventional sculptural bee hives that serve the interests of the bee, whilst of course still providing us with the benefits of pollination and perhaps a playful engagement with some of the significant historical myths and metaphors that mark our co-evolution. (The full text by Nigel Helyer can be found here: proworkshop reading_N Helyer)

*Dr. Nigel Helyer (AU)  is an internationally prominent sound artist who’s interdisciplinary practice combines art and science to embrace our social, cultural and physical environments.   He brings these concerns together in poetic art projects that prompt the community to engage with their cultural histories, identity and sense of place; inviting us to examine the abstract conditions of our world and our complex relationships to it. Home page:

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Melliferopolis experiments with new ways of understanding bees, beekeeping and the ecology of the hive. The project examines the role of honeybees and other pollinators in an urban context and explores the many differing relations between humans and these insects.

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