“Just as the She Wolf of Rome is a political ideal, Queen Bee presents a contemporary/industrial society modelled on the ideal of the colony. Inhabitants are structured into roles and the ‘city’ becomes a form of composite entity. The breasts of the Queen become an insect/human interface just as the form of the building represents an interface between architecture and hive. ” Richard Stringer
The original “Queen Bee” sculptures were created for a series of studio works in 2003-04. When Nonda Katsalidis, the architect, saw these original sculptures and commissioned a large scale version. The gold finish of Stringer’s works complement the golden glass apex of the building designed by Katsalidis. The sculptures are made from anodised aluminium sheet using cast aluminium for all the antennae and small bees’ legs. The sheets are riveted together using 110,000 anodised rivets. Architect Karl Fender says that the growing bee installation represents the role of art in capturing the imagination of both Melbourne residents and tourists alike. In 2019 Eureka Tower extended its lobby experience, installing a new signature bee piece above the front door to further announce the building entrance.
“Boldly executed, art is infused into the building fabric at grade level demonstrating its significance to enriching the public domain,” says Fender. “The evolution of the colony bee sculpture, a significant sculptural installation and piece of public art, signifies the hive of activity and high-density city living within the Eureka Tower, and across our city more broadly – its vibrancy and boldness continues to stand out, architecturally and sculpturally.” *