The Reveal

This is pretty late as a post but I thought I would end the story of my amazing Artist in Residence experience of 2013 at Ganna Walska Lotusland, Montecito California and the exhibition Swarm: Collaboration with Bees before I start on my next adventure.

Every two years Lotusland has been mounting incredible International exhibitions that take a look at the ecology of the garden.  In 2013 the concern about bees and colony collapse was in the zeitgeist and Lotusland as a leader in sustainable garden practices, and the preservation of endangered plant species devoted this biennial to bees and their relationship to biodiversity and life.   I was lucky enough to be selected as the Artist in Residence and spent a month creating Daphne, a beeswax architectural intervention inspired by the garden and housed in the Pavilion Gallery on the 37 acres estate. to see more images of Daphne

penelope stewart Daphne succulent wall2

penelope stewart Daphne tile and object wall 2


The opening reception was fantastic as was the general attendance during the run of the exhibition.  Nancy Gifford, curator and Gwen Stauffer the Executive Director of Lotusland organized events such as film, dance and tours throughout the three month run.  One such event was an invitation to the Santa Barbara Poet community to write poems inspired by Daphne and the garden.  This group wrote over thirty poems which was such a rich gift in response to my beeswax intervention.

bee 1

Barrel Cacti in bloom

Though this project was 2 years ago it lives strongly in my memory and continues to inspire my current practice.

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