All Canadian art…..Aganetha Dyck

There has been a long tradition of artists employing assistants.  Georgia O’Keeffe, for example, was blind (macular degeneration) at the end of her life.  Her assistant helped prepare and paint the canvasses according to her direction.  El Anatsui, (see the post from March 27), employs large teams of people to fabricate his hangings.  It is a common practise in the art world.

Aganetha Dyck also has a large swarm of assistants.  She uses bees to help her create her art.

Click here for a brief, informative video about the genesis of her idea to work with bees, and images from an installation of a show in the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Here is an interview with Ms Dyck, and the link provides more very good images of her work.

Installation at Confederation Centre of the Arts, 2011

Installation at Confederation Centre of the Arts, 2011

I love that Ms Dyck commissioned Di Brandt to write a poem for her installation Working in the Dark, at the DeLeon White Gallery in Toronto in 1999.  Art and poetry: a perfect match.  The poem was translated into braille, and the sheets of paper were introduced into bee hives.  Most of the bees’ work was done in the dark, and the work was checked only shortly before the show.  Juan Antonio Ramirez wrote  Aganetha Dyck: Nature as Language in which he discusses her work, and its meanings.

While I was working at Martha Street Studio, an edition of intaglio prints was produced, which were then ‘finished’ by the bees.  Each print of the edition was unique, and all of them are beautiful.

After Dr. Edmund Assumus 1865 by Aganetha Dyck

After Dr. Edmund Asmus 1865 by Aganetha Dyck

Aganetha Dyck received the Governor General’s Medal for Visual and Media Arts in 2007. She and Daphne are in good company.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “All Canadian art…..Aganetha Dyck

  1. Scott Edie

    Thank you for sharing these artists the past few days. I haven’t had a chance to see any of their works, and had not heard of any other than Aganetha Dyck (whose work I very much would like to see, having bees myself. The TeeVee prints I would particularly love to see, esp. the polar bear as I have special love of these animals. Obviously I need to get back to Canada more often.

    Like

    Reply
    1. terryvatrt Post author

      Can’t argue with you visiting Canada more often! Richard Kroeker has amazing polar bear sculptures at Nunavut Gallery. He has a great eye, and he has thousands of pieces. Really.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Scott Edie

    A question, either Wanda Koop or Aganetha Dyck did an exhibit at WAG back in the late 80’s of with a mason jar/canning jar installation. Julie is saying it was done by Dyck and therefore I have seen some of her work, and I think it was by Koop. Can you help?

    Like

    Reply
    1. terryvatrt Post author

      It sounds more like Aganetha Dyck than Wanda Koop. It’s a good challenge to research, as I don’t know for sure. I’ll see what I can find out.

      Yes, it was Aganetha Dyck. The show was called Recent Work: Canned Buttons, and it was 1984.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Scott Edie

    thanks, Julie pointed out we’d seen a Wanda Koop show in that very general time frame, airplanes as the subject and I guess I only managed to retain one name from all that. i’d seen Wanda Koop’s name much more recently at that show of Canadian artists up in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts (should have gone, I have the catalogue at least) and Koop was one of the ones featured.

    Thanks for tracking this down. I do remember the buttons now, I’d forgotten what was in the jars, but it was a great show. I will remember Aganetha Dyck’s name going forward.

    Like

    Reply
    1. terryvatrt Post author

      You are welcome, of course. You know the art is really strong when you remember it three decades later. Do you remember the Esther Warkov show at the WAG in the 80’s?

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s