AGATHA BEES
​Digital Print

2016

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a recently occurring phenomena where entire hives of worker honey bees are abandoning their home and queen, only for their numerous bodies to be found dead not far away. The dramatic increase of this phenomenon has not yet been attributed to a specific cause. In response, Agatha Bees is an image that personifies the unexplained but sorrowful wandering of these animals by connecting them to the human-occurring Fugue Disorder and one of its most famous sufferers: mystery writer Agatha Christie. 

Fugue Disorder is a rare dissociative disorder that is characterized by the temporary amnesia of one's personal identity -- including forgetting one's memories, personality, and idiosyncrasies. It is speculated that Christie experienced this in 1926, when she went inexplicably missing for eleven days. 

One evening her then-husband, Archie Christie, left her to spend the weekend with his mistress. After, Agatha walked up the stairs to her daughter's bedroom, kissed her once on the forehead, walked downstairs and outside to her car and drove away. After a man-hunt that included over a thousand police officers, 1500 volunteers, several aeroplanes, and novelist Arthur Conan Doyle giving a spirit medium one of Christie's gloves, she was found eleven days later at a Turkish-style spa in Harrogate, Yorkshire, registered under the name "Mrs. Teresa Neele from Cape Town". When asked what happened, Christie replied that she couldn't remember at all. 

Agatha Bees connects Christie to the other animals in our world that have been struck with a disorder that cause them to inexplicably wander. The image is a set of directions from Harrogate back to Christie's home in Sunningdale, Berkshire. But the directions are given in a visual representation of the patterns that bees move in when they want to direct one another to places -- these patterns are known as, "dancing". With the information relayed in this image both Christie and a bee could find their way back home along the same roads that Christie travelled in 1926. 

© 2019 ANJ FERMOR