Aganetha Dyck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aganetha Dyck
EducationPrince Albert Community College, 1974-1976; University of Winnipeg, 1980-1982
Known forSculpture, Drawing

Aganetha Dyck (born September 12, 1937) is a Canadian sculpture artist residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dyck is best known for her work with live honeybees, that build honeycomb on objects that she introduces to honeybee hives. In 2007 Dyck was awarded both Manitoba's Arts Award of Distinction and Canada's Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Dyck was born Aganetha Rempel, in 1937, to Mennonite parents in Marquette, Manitoba, a French-Canadian farming town 50 km north of Winnipeg.[2] She married Peter Dyck, a Mennonite merchant from Winnipeg, in 1958.[2] The family moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1972 where Aganetha Dyck enrolled in art courses. At the Prince Albert Community College Dyck studied pottery, batik, Salish weaving, and art criticism.[3] Dyck began to crochet, and was trained in Salish weaving by a local weaver.[2] While at Prince Albert, Dyck had the opportunity to be mentored by Professor George Glen and studied Art History.[3] The family returned to Winnipeg in 1976.[4] Between 1980 and 1982 Dyck studied Art History at the University of Winnipeg.

Together Aganetha and Peter Dyck have three children; Richard, Deborah and Michael.[2]


Dyck's early work is described as transforming domestic processes into fine art, thereby validating activities that are traditionally considered feminine.[2] In her early work, Dyck used household materials such as buttons, wool fabrics, and cigarettes.[5] Close Knit, completed between 1975 - 1981, took inspiration from a dryer accident with a piece made of wool.[3] Various pieces of wool clothing were then intentionally shrunk for this work.[3] A 1984 Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibition[3] of Dyck's work featured several hundred jars of buttons prepared and cooked using different culinary techniques.[2][4]

Dyck was trained to crochet in the Salish style by a weaver in Prince Albert, Manitoba.[2] After accidentally felting some of her woven work, she began to design felt sculptures, such as Close Knit ((1975‑1981)), Skirt Issue (1981) and Forest (1975‑1981), as well as sculptures that combined felt art with found objects, such as 23 Suitcases (1981).[2]

Dyck is best known for her work with honeybees, which began in 1989 when she rented beehives, and is described by her as a collaboration.[4] She was inspired when she came across a store sign made out of honeycomb.[6] Dyck places objects into beehives, or beehives into objects, and allows insects to build honeycomb on the objects, sometimes over the course of years.[4] This work is considered to be exemplified by Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting (1992‑1998), currently held at the National Gallery of Canada.[7] The work took 10 beekeeping seasons to create.[8] Another collaboration with bees is Hockey Night in Canada (1995 - 2000) where various pieces of sports equipment are turned into beehives.[3] (Her work with honeybees has drawn attention from the press, and Dyck has been featured in the CBC television show The Nature of Things, with David Suzuki.[4] Dyck has collaborated with beekeepers and entomologists in making her sculptures.[4] In addition to appreciating the beauty of the honeycomb, Dyck hopes that "people will realize the importance of the honeybees' work."[9]

Even as Dyck began her artistic practice by referencing the domestic objects and tasks with which she was most familiar, she continued to employ traditional signifiers of womanhood through the collaborative creation of honey-comb encrusted high heels, handbags, and even a wedding gown.[10]

Dyck's work with bees has been featured in Troyes, Paris, Rotterdam, and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England.[3] A selection of her awards includes the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction (2007), Governor General`s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2007), Winnipeg's Art City Star Award (2013), Winnipeg Art Council's Making a Mark Award (2014).[3] Dyck's show "Collaborations" was featured at Burnaby Art Gallery 2009[11] In 2018, Close Knit was included in Thunderstruck: Physical Landscapes, a Canada Council exhibition about contemporary dance[12].

Dyck sits on the board of directors of Plug In Gallery, and has served as a mentor in Mentoring Artists for Women's Art.[13]

The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections has the Aganetha Dyck Fonds.[3] It includes textual records related to her art career, and artifacts.[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • Close Knit ((1975‑1981)), Canadian Council Art Bank.
  • Closest to Her (2007), National Gallery of Canada.[9]
  • Queen (2007), National Gallery of Canada.[9]
  • Glass Dress: Lady in Waiting (1992‑1998), National Gallery of Canada.[7]
  • Hive Drawing #2 (2008), Burnaby Art Gallery. [14]


  • Awarded Manitoba's Arts Award of Distinction in 2007.[4]
  • Awarded Canada's Governor General's Award in Visual and Media in 2007.[4]
  • Awarded the Making a Mark award in 2014 by the Winnipeg Arts Council.[15]
  • Spotlight on 40 years: Artwork from Canada Council Art Bank, 2012.[16]
  • Art City Star Award, Winnipeg, 2013.[16]

Select Exhibitions[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Haladyn, Julian Jason. Aganetha Dyck: The Power of the Small. London, Ontario: Blue Medium Press. ISBN: 978-1-988101-02-6


  1. ^ Aganetha Dyck, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Yeo, Marian (1987). "Sharron Zenith Corne, Aganetha Dyck, Esther Warkov: Three Manitoba Artists". Woman's Art Journal. 8 (1): 33–39. doi:10.2307/1358338. JSTOR 1358338.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Aganetha Dyck fonds - University of Manitoba Archives". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Brennan, Brian (2008). "Aganetha Dyck - Homage". Galleries West. T2 Media Inc. 7 (2). Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. ^ Eyland, Cliff (2007). "Aganetha Dyck - Essay". Canada Counsel for the Arts. Retrieved 24 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ White, Laura (2013). Herstory: Art by Women from the University of Winnipeg Collection. Winnipeg, Canada: Leamarc. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-9921187-0-9.
  7. ^ "LOOK AT THIS: Aganetha Dyck's Sculptural Collaborations — With Bees". George stroumboulopoulos Tonight. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Moore, Shannon (September 28, 2015). "A Poignant Farewell: Aganetha Dyck at the Tom Thomson Gallery". National Art Gallery of Canada. NGC Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  9. ^ White, Laura (2013). Herstory: Art by Women from the University of Winnipeg Collection. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Leamarc. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-9921187-0-9.
  10. ^ "2009 Exhibitions".
  11. ^ "Thunderstruck: Physical Landscapes at Âjagemô". Canada Council for the Arts. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  12. ^ "Aganetha Dyck 2006 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction". Manitoba Arts Council. Manitoba Arts Council. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  13. ^ Van Eijnsbergen, Ellen; Cane, Jennifer (2017). The Ornament of a House: 50 years of Collecting. Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada: Burnaby Art Gallery. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-927364-23-9.
  14. ^ "WAC Arts Awards Winners For 2014". Winnipeg Arts Council. Winnipeg Arts Council. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Aganetha Dyck – Surreal Transformations". Akimbo. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  16. ^ Martens, Darrin; Laurence, Robin (2009). Aganetha Dyck: Collaborations. Burnaby Art Gallery. ISBN 0980996201.
  17. ^ "Aganetha Dyck: Guest Workers – Confederation Centre of the Arts". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  18. ^ "Past Exhibitions in the Main Gallery". ART GALLERY OF ALGOMA. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  19. ^ "You've Really Got a Hold on Me". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  20. ^ "Aganetha Dyck | Honeybee Alterations | Ottawa School of Art / École d'Art d'Ottawa". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  21. ^ "Cross Pollination". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  22. ^ Gallery, Kamloops Art. "AlterNation". Kamloops Art Gallery. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  23. ^ "apexart :: Animal Intent :: Emily Falvey". Retrieved 2019-03-01.

External links[edit]