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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Danny Carter and Dying Bees

Danny Carter, also graduating from the documentary course at Newport, looks at collapsing bee colonies in the XYZ of bee culture. He made the pictures on good old 35mm slides and will be showing this work on a large light box, replicating the intimacy of looking into a bee hive and giving the project an archival feel.

This is what he says about his project.

'The mysterious disappearance and collapse of bee colonies across the world is one of the most significant environmental issues of the 21st century.  They pollinate more than a third of all we eat and a lot of what we wear is entirely dependent on their hard work.  The endless list of foods and produce they are responsible for is mind-blowing.  Not only is honey used for consumption, but beauty products, preservation and medicinally.  Its antiviral and antibiotic capabilities make it the number one ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. 
Hand pollination of crops is already necessary in Sichuan, China, and this painstaking task is estimated to cost around £1.8 billion a year in the UK alone.  Scientists are even trying to build tiny robots to emulate the work of bees but nature is still thousands of years ahead.
Without bees our food system would collapse and our landscapes would become flowerless.  Although the exact cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD) is still in discussion, one thing is certain, it has been caused by man.  Pesticides, monocultures and intensive farming are taking their toll on the natural world.  Like the canary in the mine, the death of the bee is an indicator of an unsafe environment. 
This project acts as a bee retrospective, using the visual language of the archive and specimen collections, I wanted the viewer to imagine/ believe that this vital species is already extinct.'

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