Decline of the Pollinators
Jodie's Quarantine Practice
"Over the last two years whilst studying for MA Fine Art I have experimented with the use of various types of media but always with a common theme of bees. My work began by photographing bees in the garden with an aim of producing Fine Art photography to studying them in much greater detail at local beehives and learning from the beekeepers in order to develop my work further. This enabled me to gain more in-depth knowledge and a much better understanding of the bee species. The opportunity to witness a mass swarm of bees that close up and be surrounded by them is such a surreal experience but also one I will never forget. Through research and experimentation, I found my work transitioned from photographic to mixed media and in Year 1 I began to create work with alcohol inks which contain inert ingredients found in pesticides.
After researching the impact caused from the use of pesticides and how the consumption of aluminium can lead to dementia in the bee species, my aim was to be able to produce a body of work for the exhibition that provided visitors with a multi-sensory experience that would allow them to connect with my work on an emotive level. This would involve the sounds of bees, the smell of wax and flowers and the soft glow of yellow light highlighting large scale circular aluminium mixed media artworks. I chose the circular shape as not only is it a scientific shape it is a natural shape. Some of my work includes blue and green colours and the resulting image is reminiscent of land and sea, an Earthly effect.
Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic the work I had planned to produce has had to change as the exhibition in September has been postponed due to Covid-19.
Instead of a physical exhibition we will now be presenting our final artwork in the form of a photo-book accompanied by a website. This obviously limits my work as I cannot provide the viewer with the full experience that I had planned. There are also restrictions on the equipment that I have access to. For example, I can’t record the bees using professional sound equipment and can’t produce work to the scale that I had planned. However, although some aspects of my work have been negatively impacted on by the pandemic there are positives. My work is of a smaller scale but I have had much more time to research, think and produce work that has more levels of meaning.
Lockdown gave me a chance to really connect with nature and the isolation left me to connect with my own work creating deeper levels of meaning. I hope that viewers will be able to feel this through the print format and website and still gain an empathic response to the plight of the bees through human use of pesticides."