Thursday, 24 March 2011

Dad's Tall Story

I was at Manchester Town Hall last night for the Bruntwood Awards for Arts and Business North 2011. The Co-op Membership supported my Bee Project via Yorkshire Sculpture Park and we were shortlisted for the Environmental Partnership Award.

I was happy I could go to the town hall to take images of the bee mosaics - the bee is the emblem of Manchester.

When I told my dad i was going (he's from Manchester) he told me that in the town hall men's toilets above the urinals are honey bees: the latin Apis, being a little mank joke. Thankfully before i went in to the men's with my camera, i bumped into a member of the town hall staff and asked him if it were true. Looking at me like i was slightly deranged, he informed me it wasn't.
Thanks dad.

The do itself was very corporate - nobody did a Gwyneth Paltrow and sobbed uncontrollably
when accepting their award, and absolutely nobody thanked their mum or dad. All very disappointing.

As it goes, we didn't win.
I commiserated with myself by drinking champagne (or quite possibly a cheaper alternative) at the after party which was in the fabulous Midland Hotel - i've always wanted to go inside since reading a WG Seabald book where he mentions the hotel.

All in all, a good night out.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Leg Warmers

I was given some beautiful, hand knitted leg warmers the other day and they were wrapped in this bag from a pharmacy in Feucht, Germany. Feucht is near Nuremberg and is known for being a centre for bee keeping and honey production: hence the chap on a bee hive (although i'm not sure why he's carrying a crossbow).

I've been to Feucht and while there (it was in winter) i took a shot of a bee emblem on one of the town walls.

By the way - the leg warmers go great with my leotard

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Dead Bee Collection

I just spent the last two hours sorting through my dead bee specimens that i've been collecting.

I started to collect dead insects for a different project in 2005 and since then have continued to gather flies, wasps, bees, dragonflies, moths and butterflies etc from window sills and pavements.

At Yorkshire Sculpture Park I was able to retrieve all the dead honeybees from around the hive entrances, plus i also collected any dead bumblebees from the park and also any i saw off site during the summer.

For the exhibition I want to present some of the dead specimens in one of the gallery walls, so i spent this afternoon sorting through them all. I can't tell you the stench in the boxes of bees - a really nasty smell. Some of them are half eaten and battered with wings, legs or heads missing, but some are perfectly whole and really beautiful to look at.

Friday, 4 March 2011


Even though my exhibition starts in the first week of April I had to get almost all the work finished and packed up for the last week in February, so that Yorkshire Sculpture Park could come and pick it all up. Although this collection date seemed a bit extreme, all the 2D work has to be framed up, plus we will spend about two weeks installing the exhibition.

I work well with a deadline - i.e if there isn't any pressure to finish a work, it could potentially never be completed.

And so with whole minutes to spare I finished and wrapped everything ready for Dick and James from YSP to come to Preston and gently load the van up - then speed off uncontrollably down the road.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Finished Model

I finished the scale model of YSP the other day - well, i nearly finished it: i ran out of trees (i put 600 on the model already). It was collected last week and delivered to the park so i'll have to finish the trees when i go to install the exhibition at the end of this month.

The images here were taken by Gavin Renshaw.