Tomáš Libertíny Collaborate with 60,000 bees to recreate the bust of Nefertiti
Creating sculptures out of Beeswax would be rather difficult if you had to do it alone, for Tomas Libertiny the process is much easier thanks to the help of sixty thousand professional honeycomb makers, known as the honeybee. His latest work titled “Eternity” is a recreation of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. Nefertiti ruled over Egyto in the 18th dynasty alongside her husband Pharaoh Akhenaten. Together they created a religious revolution where the people worshipped one god as opposed to many. This one god was Aten the sun god.
The original sculpture that Tomas based his work off was made in 1345 BC by Thutmose the sculptor. This bust of Nefertiti was recovered from Thutmose’s workshop and has become one of the most copied works of Ancient Egypt. Libertiny’s take on the work is “a testament to the strength and timelessness of the ‘mother nature’ as well as its ancient character as a powerful female reigning against the odds.” which Tomas describes on his website. The connection to mother nature is made even stronger with the honeycombs being crafted by actual bees.
The work started out as a 3D render of the sculpture and as a simple frame, the frame was then taken to the bees where the sculpting was done. Often having to guide the bees into a general direction the work still comes out with qualities unexpected by the artist. The original work lasted from 1345 BC until today. Beeswax is a very durable natural material and can last for thousands of years without deterioration, allowing this work to hopefully last just as long as the original.
“Eternity” was showcased in two parts first in 2019 at the @kunsthal in Rotterdam. During this first exhibition, the work was still being created and visitors could see the bees at work building the sculpture. Finally, in 2020 the finished work was showcased in Libertiny’s solo show “Melancholia” in Amsterdam at the Rademakers Gallery. You can view selected images of the work below as well as follow the artist on Instagram here, and view the entire series of works on his site.
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