BEE NEWS: Bees on the road and new open called

Bee news number 1!

Well, rather beautifully and smoothly, the second leg exhibition is going on the road.

Hurrah!

So, where is it going?

Well, tomorrow Shaun the Angel myself head off to Swindon to the Richard Jefferies Museum to see Mike and Suzie and the team to collect all 107 pieces of art.

We’ll lovingly wrap them and pop them in the car and drive them back to somerset.

And then on Wednesday, we will be taking them to Donna in Langport at For Every Cloud, ready for the reopening of the exhibition in August.

Isn’t that brilliant – I am sooooo chuffed.

It will the same exhibition yet totally different because of the change of gallery.

I hope some of you get the change to come and see it.

And in bee news number 2, a new open call.

“What?” I hear you cry, “already?”

Well, yes, these Bee spectaculars don’t organise themselves, you know!

So, if you’d like to participate in the third part of this exciting Bee project , nows your time to shine.

We are looking for a wide variety of people from all spectrums of the Arts.

The deadline is the end of august so you’ve plenty of time but don’t leave it too late…..the number of times I’ve heard, “oh, I missed the deadline….!”

Well, notice given , you lovely lot – we want you!

https://goo.gl/forms/uRfNKaBINb3i0ueh1

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Sunday afternoon sun, love and a bit of a weep of joy

I’m sat in the garden with my old man, drinking cava on a much needed ‘day off’ but enjoying the time and space needed to really take in what our fifty artists have written about their work for this year’s exhibition.

It’s joyous, humbling, funny, inspiring, exhilarating, and just all round wonderful.

Until we reach this point, with works finished and explanations written, it’s difficult to know what sort of exhibition we are offering you.

But, surprise surprise, it’s going to be an experience – I feel so moved (no, it’s not the Cava talking).

I keep stopping to share bits with Shaun but as I read them out loud, I get a bit wobbly and tearful. It’s so moving.

Thank you to all of the incredible artists who have chosen to take part, invested a huge amount of time, effort and creativity and a little bit of their souls in order to bring you an amazing experience.

Show some love, people, you must come!

A year ago, how time flies

It was a year ago yesterday that myself, Polly, Joy and Donna had a meeting at ACEarts to discuss the FIFTY BEES exhibition. We sat on the sofas, measured walls, talked and talked and decided that these three wonderful women would be called the beekeepers.

Why?

Well, with fifty artists to coordinate, it made sense to share out some of the work. Now, I look back at this picture with amazement.

We had no idea how it was going to work, whether the story of the bees would translate into an exhibition, whether anyone would be interested.

But, wow! It was wonderful. The fifty artists made such a wide variety of art, amazing responses to these incredible creatures.

But it wouldn’t have worked without the enthusiasm and keenness of them all as well as Nina and the team at the gallery.

Now, we’re gearing up for the next leg of the journey at Richard Jefferies Museum – can’t wait. Thanks everyone.

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#vintagecontainer #bees #fiftybees #artists #somersetartist #opencall #interconnectedness

Now the party’s over….

….the work is down, returned to the artists or posted off to their new homes so I thought I’d just do a little recap before I let you know what’s coming next.

In the beginning, there was the book by Steven Falk 

and a publication by Friends of the Earth.


Then came masses of planning and administration and emails and social media postings and drawing and talking to fifty + artists. Phew!
And then finally, finally, I started working on the first bee, the Violet Carpenter Bee.

 And then slowly, juggling a business and a job and markets and teaching, bee numbers began to grow.
Sometimes it felt like I would never get them all made but it happened, they started to evolve out of the wool and the containers.


And I can’t tell you how chuffed I was to see them all collected together – it felt like a real achievement.

But in the background, working away in their chosen media with total dedication, fifty artists were creating their own personal responses to ‘their’ bees, becoming experts and advocates for fifty special little insects.

The first proof was emailed to me by Sam Cannon. I can’t begin to express what that felt like, finally seeing evidence that the other artists had ‘got’ the concept of the FIFTY BEES project.

Huge thanks go to Sam and every single one of the artists.

Then before we knew it, it was time to set up the exhibition, my FIRST and we had a blank canvas of a gallery space. So, so exciting – I have no idea how I got to do this in my life – I’m a lucky, lucky woman. But also, I really had no idea how to hang an exhibition – the expert help, guidance and humour from the three ‘Beekeepers’ made it possible.

After the set up, to then host a private view with so many beautiful people turning up to see the amazing work by such talented artists, added to the joy.

Further information

Here’s a link to the Ecologist’s lovely article about the exhibition: http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2989106/uk_artists_showcase_the_plight_of_the_disappearing_british_bee.html

A copy of films of the artists talk given at the gallery by Lydia and four of the artists:

 

The Bilberry Bumblebee 

This is the Bilberry Bumblebee, paired with its companion piece by Helen Hickman of Nellie and Eve. 


This is what Helen says about her work.

“My creation is inspired by the landscape that Bombus Monticola (Bilberry Bumble Bee) and I live in.

Surrounded by species rich heath and peat bogs in the Welsh hills, Bilberry feeds on plants such as gorse, blackberry and of course, bilberries, which line banks.

As a spinner, weaver and dyer my material of choice is local wool, a much undervalued, sustainable fibre.

By carefully foraging for plants that produce rich, natural dyes for my hand spun yarns, crochet hexagons become ‘honeycomb’ inside a used ‘brood’ frame representing how it is possible to mindfully interact and interconnect with our natural environment.” 

Bee gifts

On Friday night, at the private view, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Louisa Crispin, an artist of extraordinary talents and a bee enthusiast. 

She has a piece hanging in the exhibition – this is not it, though. 

This is a tiny, beautiful drawing that she gave to me on the night and is one of the preparatory drawings about the Short-haired Bumblebee, her bee.

I was absolutely blown away – so chuffed, so honoured. Thank you so much, Louisa – can’t wait to put this on my wall – I know precisely where it’s going.The gallery is open today so if you’d like to see the piece Louisa did for the FIFTY BEES exhibition, call in between 10-5. 

Polly Hughes is on duty too so she’ll be there to talk about her work and many of the other wonderful pieces on display.

Cat’s piece – the nomad bee

Second bee companion for sharing, this is by Cat Frampton and has to be seen to believed – the cirl buntings are so, so small but perfectly realised, and the Braille, well, it’s a challenge – can you rise to the challenge? 


It is companioned with Nomada sexfasciata.

This is what Cat says about her piece: 

‘The birds and the bees

My bee is a rare bee. A rare bee with a solitary, thieving life. It depends on another bee to steal from, that bee is also rare. These bees share a crook of land with a bird, a rare bird.

In 1989 the Cirl Bunting lived (in Britain) only at Prawle Point, Devon, 118 pairs, clinging on.

Then conservationists and local farmers stepped in and saved the birds (over 1000 nests now, all along the coast). Did saving the birds save the bees?

Farmers, rare birds and bees combine, for the good of them all.

Can you tell what the Braille says?’