Saturday, 13 December 2014

The fascinating work of Amy Shelton

A while ago I came across the work of Amy Shelton and wrote a blog spot about her project Honeyscribe. I then completely forgot to publish it… So, here it is:

Work by Amy Sheldon
In her artwork, Amy Shelton, who read History of Art at Manchester University and later Fine Art at the University of Plymouth, constantly reflects on the plight of the honeybee. Back in 2011, in response to her research, Amy began The Honeyscribe Project – something that lead her to produce a fascinating body of work that explored the relationship between bee health, human health and the environment. Her aim was to create a body of work that would encourage a dialogue about bees between scientists, artists, writers, beekeepers and the public. Apparently, the name of the project comes from an original name used in Ancient Egypt. Apparently, a ‘Honey Scribe’ was a person who was given the task of recording every drop of honey produced by the local bees.  Amy borrowed this title as a contemporary Honey Scribe who charters current threats to the health of the honey bee whilst reflecting upon their behaviour.
Amy Shelton preparing her Florilegium

Work by Amy Shelton
Work by Amy Shelton
 This year, back in the Spring (sorry guys – I missed it too as I was in California) Amy curated an exhibition in one of the galleries I once exhibited at – Peninsula Arts in the city of Plymouth – it’s a fantastic space and I recommend it. Shelton’s exhibition was a collaborative one featuring many artists, but also, and more importantly for me, one of her own pieces called: ‘Florilegium: Honey Flow’ - a light box installation that documented the plant sources of the pollen and nectar collected by bees to sustain their colonies. This fascinating body of hand sourced material was, in my opinion, arranged by Shelton in such a beautiful, well thought out way. Hundreds of preserved melliferous plants were collected and pressed over an entire year by Amy. Such a collection on its own acts as an absorbing calendar into the life of both the bee and the plant, but when arranged against a lit backdrop in the way these were, they become beautiful pieces of art in their own right. Through this arrangement, Sheldon reveals the inner beauty of every flower whilst also highlighting their importance. Fantastic!

Work by Amy Shelton

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