Two panels have been placed in apple orchards managed by the Cyrenians (a charity aimed at tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness) on the outskirts of Edinburgh and a third one in my collaborators delightfully verdant, urban garden in which she has two hives. Each of the panels are, in some way, connecting with water; One panel has been placed in a water trough, a second in the long grass (we are hoping the dew will soak into it).
24th April 2022
Bee Panel 2
2nd June 2020. Photos by Carrie Gooch.
Due to other work commitments, I have been unable to visit the panels at the Cyrenians on the outskirts of Edinburgh, but Carrie has sent some photos of panels No 1. and No 2.
Panel No 1, is getting some interesting colours rising up the cloth from the slimy waters of the trough. It will be interesting to see how this develops. The dabbled light on the fabric seems to echo the appliqued and stitch seed shapes of the panel, the lights rays splaying outwards.
Carrie has been amused to discover the bees have ‘mucky feet’ which they seem to have been wiping or at least stomping all over the fabric placed at the entrance to the hive. The grasses and flowers at the bottom of the panel have grown considerably since May (see above) and have continued to shoot up throughout July as can be seen from the photographs below. The buttercups of early June have been replaced or have been over taken by grasses and Cleaver; a species of Bedstraws also known by various names such as Sticky Wily, Sticky willow and Sticky weed. The paler oat coloured grasses is common velvet grass, also known as Yorkshire Fog, Tufted grass and Sweet velvet grass. Stains from the rain and dew have added to the panel. The hive above this panel has now been removed and the panel (no 2.) soon be moved to be nearer the remaining hive here.
2nd July 2020 Photos by Carrie Gooch.
13th July 2020 Photos by Carrie Gooch.
24th August 2022
A beautiful sunny afternoon when we arrived so there was a constant movement of shadows playing on the cloth, sometimes disappearing as the sun went in and then reappearing to cover the whole panel in dazzling black and white patterns. Several beehives surround this panel, though I was told by Carrie that they have changed due to the hives at times not doing well. The hives sit on the edge of a grand apple orchard, the trees full of fruit on this August day. Carrie had told me a while back that the trough had dried out but on this visit it was again full of water and the green of the slimy water has stained the cloth a wonderful mossy colour. The panel is covered in dirty marks and flecks suggesting that the bees and probably other insects have been drawn to it. There does seem to be a tiny creature nestled in one of the leaves, as seen below. Whether they have taken water from the damp cloth, as was our original hope, we don’t know. As you can see from the honeycomb the bees have been doing their job and it will be exciting to see and taste their honey in future months.
24th August 2022
There are no bees in the hive above the panel anymore, but there are two hives busy with bees to the right of it and much evidence of previous bee activity around the cloth as suggested by the marks, especially at the top where previously the cloth had been the doormat to the hive. There is also residue suggesting the presence of other small insects or creatures interacting with the cloth. The rain has created strong water marks on two areas of the panel, the centre top – where it looks like little rivers have cascaded down from the platform above – and on the left-hand side. Like Panel 1, panel 2 is sited in the heart of an apple orchard bursting with red apples. Various grasses and Cleavers, more commonly known as Sticky Willy, or Sticky Willow, grow from the ground at the bottom of the panel. On the right-hand side of the panel it has woven itself behind and through the top of the panel, also growing along its length creating a cushion of Cleaver beneath much of the top of the cloth. Again, the bees have been busy and there is a promise of a harvest of honey as well as apples.
Photos from underneath the platform and behind the panel show the growth of the Cleaver more clearly but also aesthetically a very different quality of light, giving it an almost underwater, translucent appearance, the petals becoming fish like.
17th September 2022
A message and photo from Carrie, ‘New contributors have arrived 😁’
A new hive has been placed above the panel and it can clearly be seen the bees are all over it and leaving their marks.
20th Febraury 2023
interesting update to this panel. It appears that an animal possibly a fox or a badger Carrie thinks, was under the platform below the beehives and sacred by something has charged through the panel. This has torn the panel considerably, so much so that Carrie decided it was best to take it down. It was also become very dirty over the winter months, much more so than those left in domestic gardens. I am now considering whether to clean and mend it using visible sending techniques. This was my intention at the beginning of the whole 7 DAYS project but so far I have resisted this. Some dead bees were attached to the cloth. the top of the cloth is actually Carrie’s right hand side, this being the dirtiest area where the bees would walk over it into their hive.
Bee Panel 1
28th February 2023
As with Panel 2, Panel 1 has got dirtier over the winter. There are wonderful stain marks from the cloth being hung over the trough which has become quite full of water after the rains. A thin branch has also attached it’s to the right-hand side of the panel. There are threads attached to the fence behind which show that the cloth has not always stayed submerged in the water but has been blowing in winds quite a lot, enough so that the sides or bottom of the cloth have reached the top of the fence and at times been attached to it. As Panel 2 has been taken away, I decided to also take this one home too. Before I did so and as Carrie and her colleague were tending the nearby hives, I hung it on a tree to dry and photographed it m catching the various colours before it dries. I’ll take some more when it has fully dried to see the different in colour. I am hoping the three Bee panels can be exhibited in the near future.