Art and Design: Bedians Make A Buzz At Towner Exhibition


During the past few weeks, Bede's First Year pupils have been busy creating a 3D exhibit for the Towner gallery school exhibition.

Taking the theme of a structure which is unique to our school, we decided upon the bee hives down by the lake.

There cannot be many schools with their own bees on site actively producing their own honey!


Beekeeping and honey hunting is an art itself  established by the ancient Egyptians  and now widespread and with clear connections to our local downland farming heritage.

The First Year students set about researching  poems, stories, images and scientific facts about these extraordinary insects. They learnt about the 'waggle dance' with Mr Abraham in Science lessons and wrote poems with Mr Cheshire in English

We also learnt about blue honey, which was discovered in America after bees had eaten blue sweets, and that bees are replacing sniffer dogs in certain airports!


Bees see the ultra violet spectrum and follow the glowing trackways created by flowers to guide them into the centre to collect pollen.

All in all they are amazingly creative and industrious creatures, thriving here at Bede's Senior School under the stewardship of Mr Hepworth-Taylor.

The students were enthusiastic in their research and in their production of drawings and sketchbook work.  Some were involved working directly on the decoration of the 'shrine to the bee hive' while others documented the process of research and looked at artists.


It was a real team effort, with some students even creating beautiful photograms of bees' wings in photography with Miss Excell.

The structure of the main project was built in our DT department and some panels have been left transparent in order to view the smoke fired  ceramic bees on display inside.

These were hand crafted in the Ceramics studios with Mr Hammond and smoked fired outside in a dustbin sawdust kiln.

Using a series of images and also text inspired by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy from her anthology 'The Bees,' students drew and stencilled glimpses of the extraordinary community living inside the hive.


The piece is a concept work inspired by a very local feature but with a global theme.

We need bees and we are priviliged that we have them here at Bede's Senior School, living near the South Downs. In the words of Carol Ann Duffy - 'Honey is art'.


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