Project Development – Informing Contexts – Week Five

6000 Flowers

I am excited to announce that I was chosen as the artist for Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Environment and Sustainability Institute’s (ESI) Farms for AONBees (6000 Flowers) project.

With my passion for environmental concerns, and my love of Cornwall, I am inspired and invigorated to be part of such a worthwhile mission.

Farms for AONBees has at its core a computer programme that has been developed by the pollinators research group at the University of Exeter. This software replicates the foraging and colony survival of bees in realistic landscapes and provides the ability to help us understand how their health, survival and the pollination they provide is effected.

The aim of its use is to make a demonstrable difference to the standards of our countryside for conservation and food production and five farms are taking part in a pilot scheme to test the program for real.

The Creative Exchange Programme has helped this art element of the initiative come to life and 6000 Flowers (so-called as it is the suggested amount of flowers a queen bumblebee needs to visit per day to establish her colony in the spring) is tasked with bringing this topic to a wider audience.

And that’s where I come in. My proposal revolves around the use of the anthotype process (possibly cyanotype) as it is the most environmentally-friendly photo printing techniques to use. The juice from vegetables, flowers and berries can be used to create wonderfully delicate monotone images that are not fixable and therefore subject to fading away. It is this element of using natural ingredients and their impermanence – once they are gone, they are gone – that reflects the situation bees are facing. But we can do things to preserve the image with care and consideration, much the same as this project aims to do with farmers, for bees and for us.

I don’t want to give too much away just yet – the launch will be on March 20 so not long to go – but below is a test shot of the work (on cyanotype cotton) underway.

berries

This project will feed into my MA work as it will enable me to learn more about my chosen process and determine my ongoing direction. More to follow.

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