Bee happy! Leeds art project is a real hive of activity

ART ATTACK: Ceramic artist Anna Whitehouse places the last pieces to her instalation made with local schoolchildren and volunteers. PIC: Tony Johnson
ART ATTACK: Ceramic artist Anna Whitehouse places the last pieces to her instalation made with local schoolchildren and volunteers. PIC: Tony Johnson
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There’s always been a buzz around Skelton Grange Environment Centre – but now it’s becoming a real hive of activity!

The educational centre in Skelton Grange Road, run by The Conservation Volunteers, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. And to mark its milestone, it has launched the unique new Swarm exhibition, which has been inspired by bees, wildflowers and the natural environment.

At the heart of the showcase, which runs until September 16, is a ‘hive’ of 50,000 hand printed bees created by artist Laney Birkhead, with the help of hundreds of people from all over Yorkshire including schoolchildren.

Caroline Crossley, from the centre, said: “We really want to engage the public in understanding the threats facing bees and other pollinators, and have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people taking part in this art project.”

The exhibition also features new permanent willow, wood, ceramic and beeswax artworks made for Skelton Grange with support from Leeds Inspired and Grow Wild. Other new artworks have been made by Leeds schools and community groups, and will include a ceramic wildflower meadow inspired by the Tower of London poppies, carved spoons made of wood harvested from the Skelton Grange nature area, and a record of the site’s wildflowers preserved in natural beeswax.

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