1711. Upfest 2018 (36)

There is a very clear message in this excellent piece by Sophie Long, ‘save the bees’, a most noble message and one that most sensible people can subscribe to. It is common knowledge that globally and locally we are losing our pollinators at an alarming rate and most of the decline is due to pesticides because…guess what…they are designed to kill insects. A classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Sophie Long, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Sophie Long, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

There is a nice interview with the artist on the excellent Auntie G website which I can recommend – it is only a couple of minutes long, but it is nice to see the artist explain her work.

Sophie Long, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Sophie Long, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Now onto the artwork itself. I am definitely a fan of Sophie’s work and have featured several pieces in Natural Adventures in the past. Her studies of wildlife are magnificent and her rather etherial style gives her subjects a sense of movement. Her trademark though probably has to be those drips…such wonderful drips. This was one of the special pieces at Upfest this year.

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1232. Upfest 2017 (116)

Will Coles certainly left his mark at Upfest 2017, with a number of different ‘installations’ dotted around the festival site and in other parts of Bristol too. This particular one chimes for a great many people in the UK, and I guess across the world, and links to the catastrophic decline in honey bee and other insect pollinator populations.

Will Coles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Will Coles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I would like to think that this is somewhat less controversial than many of his works, but it is nonetheless quite challenging politically. There are some who advocate the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides to sustain high crop yields and guarantee food production for the nation.

Will Coles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Will Coles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Each of these honey bees were carefully placed. It was fun hunting them down.