Owen and Fern are worried about the bees. They have formed a choir to sing a song of will to the bees in a shared act of concern.
For the Bees is an artist led project that stems from a shared concern for the fate of the honey bee. Based in Swansea, artists Owen Griffiths and Fern Thomas are responding to the increasing demise of honey bees by collaborating with musician Mial Watkins to compose a piece of choral music for a specially formed choir to sing to the bees.
As part of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 and in partnership with Taliesin Arts Centre, Griffiths and Thomas housed two hives in the grounds of Swansea University where during July and August members of the Bee Choir came together to sing a song of will to the bees in their hives.
For the Bees combines image, music, amateur science and participatory action to question what can be done for the bees? The idea was short listed for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Amateur Scientist of the Year’ through the project’s proposed positive effects on the bees from the singing and combined good will.
Alongside the performances there was a mobile bee cinema which screened Vanishing of the Bees, a film commissioned by the Co-operative, and also a mapping of the For the Bees project through film, photograph and print including documented performative actions by Griffiths and Thomas. The Co-operative also gave out free Honey Bee Ale at the events.
At present For the Bees is working towards pressing a recording of the choir singing to the bees onto vinly which will be available as limited edition art works.
For the Bees is part of the world-wide celebrations of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The diversity of life on Earth is crucial for human wellbeing and now is the time to act to preserve it. For information on events, initiatives and exhibitions across the UK visit www.biodiversityislife.net