Ghost Bees (2016)

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Mixed media: repurposed charity collection bags and milk cartons
@Ghostbeesters

The Ghost Bees most recently appeared in Dark Art, an exhibition at the Barnfield Theatre Gallery from 4 October to 1 November 2016. They started life as part of Teignmouth Recycled Art In the Landscape (TRAIL), over the summer holidays.

Honey bees and wild bees pollinate most of our food. In the UK, they contribute much more to the economy than the Royal Family! They also support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. But they are struggling.

Honey production has many bee welfare issues. Many beekeepers have reported colony collapse disorder among their hives. Wild bees are suffering from changes in land use, climate change, and use of pesticides. Several UK species have become extinct.

The Ghost Bees symbolise bees that have died, bees that are not. There is hope, though. Using recycled materials shows the possibility of change. And we can all help bees by sowing bee-friendly plants and cutting out the pesticides.

I modelled them after honey bees, developing the pattern from my ongoing Particulart project. This was another collaboration with Cleo Heard of Miss*C’s Graffiti Academy, who helped with knitting and installation.

We started with twelve Ghost Bees hovering in the flower bed between Teignmouth Pavilions and Pier. Five of my eight and three of Cleo’s four remained at the end of the summer, which to me also symbolises bee loss! My five are the bees which appeared at the Barnfield.

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbeesters!!

Exhibitions

  • “Ghost Bees”, part of “Dark Art” exhibition, Barnfield Theatre gallery, 4 October to 1 November 2016.
  • “Ghost Bees”, installation at Teignmouth Recycled Art in the Landscape (TRAIL), a collaboration with Cleo Heard, 25 July to 4 September 2016.