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Fifty Bees: The Interconnectedness of all Things

In a new show at Black Swan Arts in Frome, Somerset artist Lydia Needle has sculpted 50 British bees in wool and stitch, and 50 other artists have created responses to each bee.

In the fourth incarnation of her project ‘Fifty Bees: The Interconnectedness of all Things’, Lydia Needle has created 50 life-size bees to represent 50 of the 275 bee species in the UK. The project was devised to showcase the plight of the British bee. So far she has created 200 sculptures, but she is aiming to complete 275 – one for each of Britain’s bees.

She sculpts the beautiful needle-felt bees from wool, embroidery thread and vintage Kamibari gold and silk thread. The bees are housed inside a range of vintage containers, including old tins, matchboxes and antique jewellery boxes. 

Each tiny bee is paired with a companion piece created by another artist, maker, writer or musician. The work might be about the habitat of the bee, their lifecycle or behaviour, or the flowers on which they feed. The aim is to give a fuller illustration of the diversity of the British bee population, how endangered they are (many species are on the brink of extinction) and how pollinators are deeply interlinked with our own ecosystem.

The preview will take place on Friday 7th February from 6–8pm – everyone is welcome to come along. 

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