In March a group of YSJ students and staff went to London to see the Wellcome Trust’s Making Nature exhibition and The Hive at Kew. Students were from Fine Art, Creative Writing and Literature and ranged from undergraduate to postgraduate. This was the beginning of an exciting collaboration/pollination. The wonderful Wellcome Trust’s ‘Making Nature’ offered a thought-provoking exhibition on the way in which we represent and co-exist with creatures. From the taxidermy foxes and owls seemingly asleep in corners of the room, to the vial of DNA of the extinct passenger pigeon, and a video of a live tiger dwelling in a city apartment, there was plenty to be inspired by. The exhibition asked us to reconsider our history of relating to animals, but also to think about what it means to be human. Whilst there, we had special access to Amy Shelton’s Florilegium, a stunning ‘pollen map’ of the bee-year.
At Kew we experienced the phenomenon of Wolfgang Buttress’s The Hive, an installation that responds to the real-time activities of bees and translates that into light-patterns and music sampled from the sounds of the bees themselves. The work curated on this blog is a result of student responses to this trip, the Symposium, and the Wildflower Workshop.