Colony Collapse, 2013
Nicola Parente combines his keen artistic vision with his concern for the earth’s delicate ecosystems in his new work entitled Colony Collapse. This site-specific installation of over 2700 recycled brown paper bags lined from floor to ceiling results in a man-made honeycomb. Parente’s creation is an intricate display of organic volume, combined with sound and projection of a bee colony inside the tiny 8x10ft space of Micro Scope 1824, an experimental art space at Spring Street Studios. With this installation Parente aims to make the viewer more aware of the worldwide decline of bee colonies and open a dialogue about the importance of a pesticide-free food chain. According to Parente, “bees play a vital role in a wide variety of ecosystems as pollinators and the bee population is an important part of our evolutionary chain… I hope everyone who experiences this exhibition will walk away with an awareness and be inspired to do their part in making sure of the bee’s survival”. Bees provide massive economic benefits to human society, both through the production of honey and, even more importantly, the pollination of a large variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and flower crops. The economic value of honeybees in the U.S. alone has been estimated at $8-12 billion. Over 3 million colonies of bees have died in the USA since 2006 and over a thousand millions of bees have died in this period in the world.