New York-based muralist Matthew Willey has hand painted more than 50,000 individual bees on buildings around the world to highlight growing threats to pollinators.
The artist was inspired to create this environmental message after a bee flew through his apartment window in late spring 2008.
Having rendered more than 5,500 of the pollinators in 30 murals and installations over the past five years, Matthew Willey believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made people aware of the importance of nature. He said: “If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that we are truly all connected more deeply than we realize. The global hive Matt is painting is a metaphor for the connectedness of all things.”
The global hive Matt Willey is painting is a metaphor for the connectedness of all things. For the artist, the bees are a symbolic of humans, trees, animals, pollinators, water, soil and everything in between.
Speaking to Reuters, Matthew Willey said: “From depression or addiction, to climate change to plastic pollution in the ocean, to systemic racism, it is our choice to separate all these interconnected problems out into fragments that makes them harder to solve.
“A bee is always considering the welfare of her hive. She is wired that way. But humans are wired for choice. So we must choose to see how connected all our problems are.”
The muralist painted his first bee mural on a 1920s-style stucco building in LaBelle, Florida in 2015. Since then, Matthew Willey has sent bees dancing across schools, museums and municipal buildings from San Diego to Washington DC.
Last October, he completed his first international project at a school in southern England after a 15-year-old pupil wrote to him after discovering his Good of the Hive project’s website.
With bees and other insects facing pressures from pesticide use to habitat loss and climate change, the artist hopes planned projects from Italy to India will prompt more people to rethink their relationship with nature – and each other.
Images Source: The Good of the Hive
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.