Insect Haven: A Floral Canvas
German artist Michael Uy has literally grown his latest masterpiece from the seeds of wildflowers in a vacant meadow in Jacobsdorf, not far from Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, as reported by Deutsche Welle. The immense artwork, titled "Flower of Life," along with the depiction of a bee buzzing towards honeycombs, was inadvertently captured by a Berlin tourist using a drone and shared the photos on the Google Maps platform. This is how the painting gained widespread recognition – images of this paradise-like garden from a bird's-eye perspective spread across the internet, turning an obscure piece of land into a true regional landmark.
A living floral canvas, spanning the size of a football field, composed predominantly of blooming plants, mostly yellow and orange marigolds, along with poppies, cornflowers, delphiniums, and velvet flowers, bordered by numerous undulating strips of flowering grass and intricately designed pathways for visitors, was no small feat to create, as Michael Uy himself noted in an interview with the German agency dpa. To bring his vision to life, the 60-year-old artist first measured the basic project area and sketched out a plan on paper. Following this, he input the data into a computer, calculated the parameters of the artwork, and developed a concept – a digital model of the future work of art. However, the most challenging aspect turned out to be transferring the digital concept onto the field's surface. To maintain the geometry of the design, Michael planted stakes in the ground and drew a new pattern using cords and ropes. Then came the lengthy process of sowing the "painting," watering it, and cultivating it. Interestingly, Michael Uy received the flower seeds as a gift from friends and family for his 60th birthday – he had requested nothing but packets of flower seeds. Family members, friends, and local residents – approximately 25 assistants ranging in age from 4 to 90 years old – helped the artist during the creation of the painting.
By the beginning of August, the living canvas had fully bloomed, taking on the exact appearance that the artist had envisioned. In addition to the shaped flower beds and walking paths within the artwork, birdhouses and "hotels" for insects were also placed within the painting's territory. Michael Uy sees his work not only as a piece of art but primarily as a conservation project, aiming to draw public attention to the disappearance of "flowering strips" that were intentionally planted to preserve bee populations.