Artist uses an army of 60K bees to create a magical sculpture of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti


Tue, 20 Apr 2021 - 01:13 GMT

Nefertiti's honey statue - social media

Nefertiti's honey statue - social media

CAIRO – 20 April 2021: When planning to work on a sculpture, an artist usually will prepare the materials needed, such as wood or marble. This did not apply to this artist, who used the help of 60,000 bees to create a magical sculpture.




Tomas Libertiny was interested in working with beeswax because the notion of demise and the temporary nature of things was so appealing to him. His interest resulted in a charming sculpture made of natural beeswax featuring the famous Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.




In an interview with CNN Arabic, Libertiny said, "I wanted to expand what is possible when it comes to making art by distancing myself from the hammer and chisel." His tendencies towards nature resulted in a dazzling sculpture of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, called "Eternity".




This artwork was created in collaboration with 60,000 bees that shaped the sculpture using beeswax tablets around an intricate frame.


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via social media



Libertiny chose to create a sculpture for the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti because he wanted to embody a symbolic queen. "There are not many women in history whose faces can be easily related to their names," the artist explained.




Nefertiti was one of the most powerful women in ancient Egypt. She enjoyed high status during the reign of her husband, Pharaoh Amenophis IV, known as Akhenaten, according to the official website of the State Information Service in Egypt.


via social media
via social media



Furthermore, Nefertiti supported her husband during his religious and social revolution, according to the site, and she wielded vast unparalleled power in leading the country.




Natural beeswax is considered one of the most durable natural materials, and therefore, "This sculpture will easily last for a thousand years if kept in a suitable environment. Hence, its name, eternity," said the artist. It took Libertiny, who now lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, two years to complete the sculpture, in two stages.




Initially, the work was shown at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam in summer 2019 as a live art installation. Visitors had the opportunity to observe the process of bees building this artwork.




The artwork was completed in the second phase in 2020, amid the calm wilderness of the Slovakian countryside, to be finally shown at the Rademakers Gallery in Amsterdam from December 2020 through January 2021.




Creating the sculpture was very complicated; the bees did not always work according to the plan.  "I had to regularly intervene in the process of building and growing, just as you do with the miniature Japanese bonsai trees… Patience is the key," commented Libertiny.


via social media
via social media



The artwork required attention to and monitoring of weather forecasts, as irregular weather patterns have very negative consequences on the health of bees in general.




The artist wishes more people would see the sculpture in person, as seeing them online would not provide an opportunity to smell the strong scent of fresh honey and wax. The scent will make you feel like you are standing next to a beehive and a garden full of flowers.




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