Urban Bees: Working Together 1.

Bee keepers

Working towards an exhibition.

As you probably know, bees  are under threat like never before. In response to this and the inspirational example of the rooftop bee hives on Princesshay shopping centre in Exeter, I have enlisted the help of five other members of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen to work with me towards en exhibition in September. The resulting artwork, ranging from printmaking, photography, ceramics, textiles and jewellery will be on display at the Yard Gallery, Exeter College from 5th to 27th September. There will also be a Bee focus in the Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s shop at the Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, throughout September.

Princesshay Rooftop bees.

Princesshay’s City Bee project now has 45,000 honey bees living in the rooftop garden above the shops and enjoying fruit trees and bee-friendly flowering plants. Most shoppers are unaware that they are there busily pollinating and carrying pollen in from the surrounding gardens. Bees do well in the city due to the variety of plants in the city’s parks, railway sidings, trees and gardens. Often giving them a healthier and more varied diet of pollen sources than their country cousins.

Princesshay bees

Each artist is responding in their own creative way to the plight of the bees. In addition to myself, the artists involved are – Printmaker Debby Mason; Photographer Mei Lim; Ceramicist Philippa De Burlet; Textile artists Helen Edwards and Jeweller Yume Martin.

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I will give you glimpses of their artwork in progress as it becomes available.

To start with here’s some bee sketches by Debby Mason – 

Debby Mason bees

Debby has her own Bee hives and is busy creating mezzotints of the bees. Mezzotint involves a tremendous about of work and isn’t for the fainthearted printmaker. The results are richly warm intense intaglio prints. Here is a plate in its early stages of being worked on. –

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Debby Mason mezzotint

To find out more about mezzotint see this page on Debby’s website

For more photographs from my visits to the Princesshay City Bees project see here..

More news about the Urban Bees and the artists working together coming soon….

See here, here, here & here for updates