June 1, 2020

Can the humble bumble bee save our planet and our art?

Steven Graham, 53

This traditionally painted and fused stained glass panel was inspired by my concerns regarding the changing climates in the environment and education. The earth is warming, seasons are changing, flowers are blossoming too early, hedgerows are being cut back, crops are being sprayed with neonicotinoids, gardens are being hard landscaped, and the bees are battling to survive. Agriculture is in jeopardy. Despite their struggles, the bees diligently tend the flowers to continue the cycle of life. This delicate and concerning cycle mirrors that of glass art education. My experience and research as a glass art student raised my awareness that the art in Scotland, a 400 year old industry, has a precarious future due to reduced education provision and job opportunities; resulting in me now promoting the medium to schools. This panel depicts the lifecycle of the blossom from full bloom being tended by the bumble bee, to developing fruit, the changing and loss of leaf, to the budding and emerging of the new flowers. Delivering glass workshops to groups of secondary school children inspired my making this panel, thus recognising my role of the bumble bee, fertilising the pupil’s interest and diligently tending the next generation of glass artist.

Can the humble bumble bee save our planet and our art?, 2019Traditionally painted and fused stained glass panel70cm wide x 60cm high