The inspiration for this collection comes from an old celtic tradition known as ‘The Telling of the Bees’. This tradition involved updating the bees on significant events in their keeper's lives such as a death or a marriage, as well as decorating their hives in the appropriate attire, e.g the hives were draped in black ribbon for a funeral. It was believed that if these customs were not carried out, the bees would flee their hives leaving their keepers with no source of honey. I was first introduced to this idea during the summer while staying at a friend's house, whose mother cares for multiple bee hives on their land.
After my stay I began to develop my research into the honeybee, exploring both its importance within our environment and its relevance throughout history. Tales just as these were most prevalent around the nineteenth century, a time when mourning dress and customs began to grow in popularity making it a rich source of inspiration.
Telling of the Bees