Monday, 31 January 2011

Modelling Work

To show where I think the imagined meadows could be sited on YSP I have started to make a scale model of a section of the Bretton Estate. I have picked three potential sites and each will be shown on the model.

I started to make the model last week and since then have finished the landscape layers and lake, but have still to make the buildings, trees and the meadows. I've used about the same amount of card as it would take to actually cover the estate itself, plus managed to go through about 30 stanley blades and four fingers.

Saturday, 22 January 2011


At the moment I'm working towards my exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park that will open in early April and although I have done lots so far I still have masses to figure out.

When I first started to look for bumblebees last summer I found the best way to remember my stripe combinations for ID was to draw them / paint them in my note book. I liked the look of the images and considered doing some for the exhibition. I tried different sizes and thickness of paper and tried different paints and also colour pencils etc. I spent ages considering how to present them and perhaps frame a whole series. However, it turns out that the ones i like most are the very basic ones on little sheets of paper from a note book - a bit wonky and the paper showing the lines - so these are the ones i'll have in the exhibition.

I have painted one image for each of the nine species of bumblebee i found at YSP during last summer:

Bombus terrestris - Buff-tailed Bumblebee*
Bombus lapidarius - Red-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus hypnorum - Tree Bumblebee

Bombus pascuorum - Common Carder-bee

Bombus bohemicus - Gypsy Cuckoo-bee*

Bombus lucorum - White-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus hortorum - Garden Bumblebee

Bombus pratorum - Early Bumblebee
Bombus vestalis - Vestal Cuckoo-bee

*image shown above

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Seedlings and Sleepy Honeybees

I went to Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday for the first time this year. Considering the recent weather it was a really nice blustery day. I went to check out the gallery space ready for the exhibition in April, plus i wanted to check the test meadow patches and visit the hives at the boathouse.

I was delighted to see tiny little seedlings popping up on the patches. There's lots of grass coming up too, but i'm hoping that's the grass species we mixed in with the flowers.

I was also happy to see a couple of very sluggish honeybees bobbing in and out of the hive entrances - they weren't especially going anywhere, just weaving around the entrance.

So, I know i'm being a bit previous, but maybe spring is already coming?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Look What I Got!

Look what I was given for Christmas!

A bee house for my back yard in Preston. How lovely

It's beautifully made and really heavy. I think solitary bees will find it quite superior quality accommodation.

Look What I Got!

Look what I was given for Christmas!

A bee house for my back yard in Preston. How lovely.

This one advises me on the label that " This beehouse offers a perfect nesting accommodation to several species" and "A female bee makes in one hollow bamboo stick several cells with one egg and a mixture of pollen and nectar to feed the larf" (it's a text in 4 languages).

Now that I have two bee houses to be located in my back yard I'm expecting the population of solitary bees in Lancashire to rise significantly this following year (although i'm not sure i want to attract so many that it becomes a game of whits every time i try to hang the washing out, or the sheer number of them block out the sun).