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.” 

Bees will be flying off to new homes…..

By the end of day 2 of the FIFTY BEES exhibition, all of these creatures below had found new homes which they will be flying off to at the end of the exhibition.

Now, obviously, not everyone who wants to give a bee a home can get to the gallery.

Therefore, over the next few days I will start listing an occasional bee on my website.

BUT

And it’s a big BUTYou’ll need to purchase via the gallery.

tel:01458 20273008

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?’ 

Polly’s honey bee piece

As promised, I’m going to start sharing the work of the other artists in the FIFTY BEES exhibition. And I thought I should start with Polly Hughes as she has been working on the honey bee, the most well know of the bees. 


What I absolutely adore about this piece is Polly’s use of patchwork, a very traditional, often overlooked women’s craft, to make us look with fresh eyes on the dance of bee.


She writes: ‘This bee is not only a honey producer but also one of the most important insect pollinators of both crop plants and wild flowers. Today, as never before, the honey-bee faces the danger of careless spraying of insecticides and weedkillers on plants in bloom, as well as disease and adverse weather conditions. 

Bees communicate the finding of food by dancing on the vertical comb. The Waggle Dance is used when the food is more than 100 metres away from the hive. The dancing bee runs in one direction, waggling her body very quickly from side to side. She then turns round and runs in a semi-circle back to the starting point, repeating the performance again and again. The angle of the waggle tells both the sun-compass direction to fly, and how far. 

The silhouette footprints are a recreation of dance step guides. The beaded Waggle Dance is embroidered onto hexagonal patchwork cells.’

And this is my companion piece.

The book of the bees

I’ve finally got a little book of the fifty bees in my grubby little paws and I’m so pleased.


It’s an A5 book published to coincided with the exhibition FIFTY BEES: The Interconnectedness of All Things. 
Fifty full colour pages of each of the fifty art pieces created for the exhibition by me, Lydia Needle. 

I’ve only got 25 copies printed so far but more should follow if they prove popular.

What do you think?



http://www.blackdogandgingercat.co.uk/product/fifty-bees-the-booklet-of-the-bees 

Work in progress

So, working against the clock it seems, still about 15 pieces to make for ‘evolution’ with deadline this weekend…Hahahaha (nervous laughter)

And of course, I’m working on something completely different….well, not completely, it’s still part of the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ theme, this ones called ‘composition’ and goes something like this:

It’s an evolving thing and I might be some time….

Blow the wind blow

What a difference a day makes- gone was the late summer sun, in its place a very strong autumnal  westerly wind followed by scrawly rain. But you can’t get a bad at Brean.

So this is what we did:

We checked that the elements of  ‘erosion’ were still attached,


We helped Joy install ‘Still Going Strong’ graffiti shirts,


We set up the log burner for fresh coffee and drop pancakes for breakfast,


We added to ‘evolution’,

We ate Shaun’s mushroom soup and Brean blackberry and apple crumble,


We made a little film of the changing weather,

We admired the wool in the 1st world war uniforms,


We met a kitten, a tortoise, lots of dogs and a camera club,


We lit candles, stoked the fire, hid from the diagonal rain, welcomed 400 people and generally


Had a laugh!

Looking forward to more of the same next Thursday. Until then, dear friends, it’s back to the home studio for some serious stabbing.