Students’ work creates a buzz for biodiversity

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134859001
Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134859001

The plight of the bumblebee and erosion of Britain’s biodiversity have inspired students from Banbury and Bicester College to be part of an innovative arts project.

Bees and Weeds is led by non-for-profit arts-science collaboration Pale Blue Dot and features work by art and design students from Banbury and Bicester College.

The project is based on research results from UK environmental scientists, including those from Oxford and the University of Sussex, and reveals a dramatic loss of wildlife in our countryside.

Students on the Foundation Degree, BA (Hons) and Foundation Diploma Creative Arts courses at Banbury and Bicester College have been developing a range of art and design pieces inspired by the issues. They are based on British wild flowers and bumblebee species from the collection at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Their work includes a series of calico bicycle seat covers, printed with images of wild flowers, which were used in an event supported by volunteers from Oxford Friends of the Earth.

And through exhibitions and art interventions, the team hopes to raise awareness of declining wild bee populations and the impact on landscapes and food production.

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134835001

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134835001

Jane King from Pale Blue Dot, said: “The UK is seen as an urban nation, but around 70 per cent of our land is agricultural. Research by environmental scientists published in the report State of Nature 2013 shows that over half our wildlife is in decline.

“We want to raise awareness of the issues and encourage people to support wild pollinators in their gardens by planting more wild flowers. We are interested in using the power of creative arts as a motivator for change and have been delighted with the response from a host of groups and organisations which are now partnering with us.”

Artwork by the students will be displayed at the Old Fire Station, George Street, Oxford until April 25.

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134846001

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134846001

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134747001

Banbury and Bicester College students have taken part in an arts project called Bees & Weeds. NNL-150604-134747001