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  • harrystigner

Hats and The Hive

I’ve been making Zoe collages for her Hat Factory and, quite predictably, have dwelt heavily with plants and pollinators.

My contract has just finished at Kew Gardens where I’ve been interpreting Wolfgang Buttress’ award winning Hive, explaining both how the structure interacts with a real beehive, and what life inside the hive is like.

It’s been a privilege to share the mysteries of the hive with school groups & visitors of all ages, and to have the opportunity to be a specialist speaker about my work with SEED Madagascar.

It was a joy to meet Wolfgang Buttress and Dr. Martin Bencsik, the scientist he collaborated with to create this multi-sensory masterpiece. They reaffirmed my belief that when art and science are combined it creates an alchemy that can’t fail to excite.

The Hive at Kew is immersed in a wildflower meadow, to raise awareness about the fact that we’ve lost 98% of our uncultivated meadow in the UK since the 1930s, resulting in a loss of habitat and forage for all our pollinators. By the time my contract finished, there was already a buff-tailed bumblebee queen hibernating in the bank – proof that every patch of wild earth can provide a valuable home to someone, and reminding me of one of my favourite beekeeping quotes:

“If I stand very still, they will think I am Cow Parsley”

Sylvia Plath

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