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A series of 60 images, BEE is a b/w micrographic study of the honeybee, viewing the eyes, wings, antennae, legs, and body in magnifications ranging from 10x to 3300x through a scanning electron microscope (SEM).
The first time I looked at a bee’s eye magnified I was amazed to see a field of hexagons, just like honeycomb. I wondered, is this a coincidence or a clue? Is it simply that hexagons are ubiquitous in nature or is there an essential correspondence between the structure of the bee’s vision and the structures she builds – in other words, similar frequencies being expressed through similar forms? This got me pondering on the connection between vision and action in a more symbolic way, and made me wonder if what we can observe in the bee tells us something metaphorically about our own essence as well. At a refined level of our own nature, does our deeper capacity to see and to do correspond with an intrinsic structuring?
As though revealing a secret, the scanning electron microscope presents a realm of structure, design and pattern at a level of intricacy we are oblivious to in our daily experience. In this bizarre frontier our sense of scale loses any reference points, and the connections between the micro and macro realms become more obvious to us. In the exploration of one little bee at higher and higher magnifications there is a hint of the unending complexity of everything in nature, the worlds within worlds comprising our reality. And then the realization – we are a part of this as well! It’s enough to rouse a mind to challenge itself; to inspire our best blend of observation and imagination, and apply it to making a better world.
The ultimate pollinator, an alchemist transmuting nectar into honey, architect, spatial genius and winged apothecary, the honeybee has been revered and utilized by civilizations throughout time. The plight of bees due to pesticides, habitat loss, mites, and other issues has awakened us to their needs, their necessity to us, and to care about restoring and protecting their health.
Honeybees live in a peaceful society whose industries benefit life. How can we emulate their example of harmlessness and beauty? For me, the honeybee symbolizes and embodies a congruency of form and function, vision and action, spirit and matter, all being of the same essence. I offer these photographs in celebration, respect and gratitude for all that they do and are.
Rose-Lynn Fisher’s work explores recurring themes along the micro/macro continuum, often merging art with science. Originally from Minneapolis, she grew up in Los Angeles, and earned a BFA from Otis Art Institute. Rose-Lynn found her way to photography almost twenty years ago via her background in painting, mixed-media, and computer programming. She is the author of BEE, a photo book exploring the honeybee through a scanning electron microscope, published by Princeton Architectural Press, and featured on NPR, Discover, and many other publications and blogs. Her work is widely exhibited, most recently at the Museum of Science, Boston, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica. She lives in Hollywood and is represented by Craig Krull Gallery.