Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting, 1992-1998
glass, honeycomb (beeswax with honey), propolis, pearls, wood, women's shoes, plastic handbag, and necklace
dress: 84.5 x 72 x 70 cm; shoes: 12.5 x 22 x 7 cm; purse: 26 x 17 x 11 cm; necklace: 25 x 15 x .8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40108.1-5)
Surrounded by a purse, high-heeled shoes, and a pearl necklace, the sensual crystalline dress of "The Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting" is the centrepiece of a body of work that preoccupied Aganetha Dyck throughout the 1990s. It also curiously became the preferred home for her collaborators: honeybees. The artist's interest in using personal and household items - including things that were once worn, held, or carried close to the body - developed out of her relationship to the domestic sphere. She began inserting beehives into objects, such as the dress, then leaving them for what could sometimes amount to years, until the article was covered in honeycomb and the desired effect was achieved. An attempt at inter-species communication, collaborating with bees is a delicate and time-consuming process.