20 April 2022

Bee Lines Through the City

Exploring through the creative arts our role in caring for the natural world

An exhibition that explores the importance and interconnectedness of bees to nature’s diverse ecosystems has opened at a Methodist arts project, Shieldfield Art Works, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Through art, music, dance and crafts the exhibition explores how bees relate to different aspects of the natural and human world through the food we eat, our culture and our environment. The exhibition also investigates how humans can support bees in the city through sustainable, local food growing and better urban planning.

Explaining the motivation for the exhibition, Lydia Hiorns, Director of Shieldfield Art Works, said “Almost three quarters of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human consumption depend on pollinators such as bees for sustained production, yield and quality. Yet bees are under threat from use of agrichemicals, loss of habitat, climate change and parasites.

 “Through our exhibition and associated events we’ll be investigating how we can collectively care for the natural world, combat climate change and ensure the survival of our bees!”

The exhibition features Symphony in C: A contemporary dance commission responding to new music inspired by bumblebees who vibrate at middle C to unlock pollen from plants.

Visitors are encouraged to get involved with activities including making fabric dyes from local plants,  seed paper honeycomb and venturing out on pollinator corridor walks.

Shieldfield Art Works is an arts organisation based in Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne. Lydia Hiorns, Director says,

 “We believe art and creativity are integral parts of human life, and with art’s unique ability to articulate, question and enquire, we can enact positive change in our communities and the world.

“As a project of the Methodist Church, we are built upon Christian foundations of seeking truth, challenging injustice, social activism and operating for the common good. Anyone, of any faith or none, is welcome to participate in our programme.”

Events during the exhibition include:

  • Tell it to the Bees: thinking about climate grief on Fri 29 April. This will be an informal and in-depth discussion thinking about why care for the environment is a social justice issue, how we can collectively care for creation and what Christianity brings to the conversation. Speakers include Andii Bowsher, David Wilkinson, Hannah Malcolm, Richard Young and Rev Sarah Moon.
  • A garden opening on Friday 24th June for a recently developed community garden space.

Find out more here

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