In need of a two-wheeled vehicle to enjoy the bike-friendly town of Missoula, MT, this summer, I bought a rebuilt bicycle from Free Cycles, a non-profit and primarily volunteer-run community bike shop.
Free Cycles’s founder is Bob Giordano, and his vision captured my interest. So when an opportunity arose to design and build a sculpture for the building’s new entrance, I didn't hesitate.
‘Hive’ is a wall sculpture comprised of five separate honeycomb structures of various sizes which can be mounted in endless combinations. Dozens of bees adorn the honeycomb cells.
The cooperative nature at Free Cycles and the activity buzzing around the indoor and outdoor work stations reminded me of bee colonies. This observation made the sculpture’s theme and design come into quick focus, especially when I realized that freewheels on bicycles look like honeycomb cells...
In keeping with the repurposing ethos at Free Cycles, the elements for the sculpture were harvested from the bike yard: honeycomb cells, bees, and bee antennae -- in other words: freewheels, bike chain, and brake cables.
To bring the sculpture to fruition, a day was spent harvesting bike parts. Then, over a period of several days, I worked with a couple of local folks in the metal-working community who provided shop access and project assembly assistance:
This is my first ‘found object’ sculpture. I’ll tell you, it makes a piece come together much quicker when the elements are already made.
Getting to create and build public sculpture was an ultimate vacation surprise, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Each honeycomb is approximately 3” deep.
There are five honeycombs, and they can be installed in any orientation. 34 bees adorn the honeycombs. There is a singular Lone Drone (solitary bee).
Measurements of each honeycomb are:
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