Making "Busy Bees" (2022)

“Busy Bees” is a public art piece I made in Ottestad swimming hall. It measures 320×1465 cm and consists of a printed blue honeycomb pattern with 5 bees mounted on top. The blue part is printed fiberglass boards and the bees are powder-coated aluminum.


I chose to make this blue because I didn’t want to make just a pictures of some bees. I wanted the viewer to take another look to understand the premise. My intention was to make the bees as representative of humans and the technological progress that we have made throughout history. No one bee or person can create alone what we can build together. And in the case of mankind, we build on top of ideas that came before us.


The primary focus and drive of bees and people is to stay alive. But it is also in human nature to explore and discover new things. And sometimes someone makes such a huge discovery that it changes the path forward for everybody. In “Busy Bees” I wanted to highlight some of them and show that the future is under construction with the basis of the collective knowledge of the past.


The format works as a timeline from right to the left. The old, solid and darker cells are on the right, and on the left side the bees are working on the new ones. Never stopping, always busy. The cells are different shades of blue, but they are all the same shape, fitting neatly into a pattern. But once in a while there are brighter cells that light up and glow. Within them are images that represent major technological advances in human history. Discoveries and inventions that change mankind forever and that each coming generation builds on. The first bright cell is a rock carving from Norway made 6000 years ago. The others represent the compass, a cogwheel, the printing press, computer code and circuit cards as the newest major invention. These are just a select few points in human history that made major leaps towards progress.

Sketch and result