In Wevelgem, near Kortrijk, a large villa from the beginning of the last century located in an English-style garden acts as a town hall. In the same park also stand two "follies", small buildings or pavilions used at the time to play cards or drink tea.
A library has recently been built there. Library regulars use the park as a reading place and are happy to be distracted by this greenery space, as at the theatre, being both spectators and actors.
The choice of the artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is explained by his previous creations of scenic installations. With a background as musician and composer, he creates evolving installations where the rhythms of nature and everyday life are transformed into music and images.
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot's project for Wevelgem invests these two pavilions, offering a new stage in their lives. The artist proposes to combine the fields of life, movement, light and sound by arousing the curiosity of the walker through a multi-sensory experience.
The first pavilion thus contains a swarm of bees that builds its hive freely. This constantly evolving organic architecture develops itself while making visible a sculptural object created by nature.
The second pavilion presents a visual translation of the bees' activity recorded the day before. The windows and door of this pavilion are equipped with red glass, a colour that bees do not perceive. A lighting system placed inside the pavilion marks variations according to the movement of the swarm. At the same time, a mist is diffused around the roof of the pavilion to give substance to the luminous movement.
In order to ensure the perfect integration of his artwork in the park, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot teamed up with landscape architects in July 2016 to ensure the enhancement of the pavilions in the redevelopment of the park. A gently sloping wooden footbridge has been designed to allow all visitors, regardless of their mobility, to come and admire the bees in action.
The title of this work, "Relay", refers both to the connection between the pavilions and to the daily run of the bees between the flowers and the hive.
The project was inaugurated on June 15, 2019.