Murano Honey Garden, The Land Of Honey

For over thirty years Judi Harvest has connected the art of glassmaking in New York and Venice. A project of regeneration and exceptional craftsmanship.

by Carlo Biasia

Interni article

The Honey Garden is the largest project to date by the American artist Judi Harvest. It began in 2013 with a field of 250 square meters on the glass factory property of Maestro Giorgio Giuman in Murano, on the island of Sacca Serenella. Creating it required 6 boatloads of soil, 30 fruit trees and 500 flowering, scented plants- including lavender, jasmine, roses, sage, rosemary and wisteria and eventually four honeybee hives placed in the center. Many environmental and artistic projects have been developed over time. Honey Garden is an oasis, creating a permanent installation and habitat for honeybees and producing over 60 kilos of honey twice a year. 

Judi Harvest’s artworks inspired by the honeybees and the hives, are realized together with the Murano glassmakers. Her intention is to sustain and bring attention to the work of the glass factory and bring them international visibility. Thanks to the Honey Garden project, the factory where Judi collaborates, now has work requests from artists all over the world. Harvest says “there exists a connection between the disappearance of the honeybees and the loss of importance of Murano glass production. My project sets out to bring the life of bees back into the garden in order to reproduce the content in glass as a gesture of protest.” 

To represent the fragility of pollination, the plant cycle and seed stock in Murano glass, is an act that emphatically and profoundly manifests a conscious vision of the environmental condition. Harvest’s work lies here: action and construction - the manual labor of beekeeping and regeneration leads to the projects of hives and bees, translated into works in glass. Glass becomes a material of representation of a process where art and craftsmanship bear witness to the possibilities of survival of natural ecosystems. To leave a sign of noble, transparent and fragile material means documenting a project that moves in the direction of a new circular economy. 

“As I thought about the fragility of seed stock, I understood the vulnerability of the bee population. My successive works in glass, the paintings, drawings and videos have been made to help comprehend this reality. Without bees and bats, both endangered species, we would not have over 400,000 flowers, plants and crops we rely on. Bees work by day and bats by night. For example, bats pollinate the agave plant and without agave we have no tequila. Barbara Rose says, “ Judi’s main concern is the way human beings interact with nature to the point of threatening the survival of the human race. Her first research as been on how bees pollinate plants and flowers and now she also focuses on bats, creatures of the night that are also pollinators.” This form of aesthetic ecology lays the groundwork for a new awareness in the world where no species should disappear, where all species need to learn to coexist with others. Bees are saving the world!

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