Motif: by Mitja Ficko
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2016 - ongoing
Edition: Limited (30)
Dimension: 32 x 14 cm | 12.6 x 5.5 in
Number of stitches: over 140,000
Thread length: over 2 km | over 1.2 mi
Thread colours: 28
Development: over 55 person hours
Painted beehive front panels are autochthonous part of Slovene cultural heritage. First ones were done by Slovene peasants in the 18th century and used to carry solely religious motifs, however, in the 19th century, beekeepers turned toward secular depictions, too. Through the last decade, many Slovene painters revive this, almost forgotten art by recreating old motifs in their own modern styles, part of this being a series of beehive front panel embroideries, done by Ercigoj art in cooperation with numerous Slovene artists.
An old folk tale about a grain mill that destroys evil hags and rejuvenates old women into young and beautiful which is most likely a folklore metaphor for the end of winter (the old hag) and the coming of spring (rejuvenation) found its way onto the traditional motifs on beehives. Mitja Ficko added his own flair to the story by layering textures, patterns and details into the panel, enriching it and making it his own.