Conference and Project Success

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The conference in November was a great success, with speakers from Wales,the UK and two from Cornell University, New York State (some of the speakers and delegates above). See previous post for the programme. The exhibition continues at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm until late spring. We are planning for three further exhibitions, in 2018 at the Bristol and Bath Nature Fair and along the Heart of Wales Line, and what seems a long time into the future 2020 at the Mann Library and The Pollinator Garden, Cornell University.

The funding for the project has now ended and we would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Arts Council of Wales for their generous funding and for the equally generous match funding The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Aberystwyth University, The National Botanic Garden of Wales, The Heart of Wales Line Bee Line Garden project, and Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm.

tyra's bees

Bumblebees in recycled glass by Tyra Oseng- Rees. For photographs of the exhibitions please click on – photographs of exhibition sm

Below is a list of all the things achieved in the project -stay in touch for further developments-

  • Through introductory days established 15 Art/Science partnerships to collaborate to produce high quality art works
  • Produced WordPress Blog/website
  • Involved an environmental linguist from University of Birmingham to explore communication and language
  • Two artists attended bumblebee identification days with the Welsh Representative of the Bumblebee Conservation Society.
  • Involved an Economic Valuation expert from Aberystwyth University to explore possible applications of the project and in particular environmental policy-making
  • Held a series on online Art Crits to explore language and perceptions and to review progress with art works.
  • One further artist attended bumblebee identification days with the Welsh Representative of the Bumblebee Conservation Society.
  • Held steering group meetings to ensure work was progressing as required
  • Gave lectures at 3 University venues (one at University of Plymouth ‘Saving the Bees Conference’, January 2017).
  • Held a two day Art Crit at the NBGW during the installation of the exhibition at the NBGW
  • Working with Sarah Tombs (co-leader of the project) 2 students and one graduate worked as artists in residence (talking with visitors) over the Easter 2017 producing artworks for the Pollinator Trail.
  • Large exhibition of 15 series of works at the National Botanic Garden of Wales from 7th July 2017 to 30th August 2017, at Oriel Yr Ardd and across the garden.
  • Produced 30cm square, full colour, perfect bound catalogue in Welsh and English IMG_1102                                                          Click here for  CROSS-POLLINATION Catalogue 
  • Produced printed colour map/guides for two exhibitions, NBGW and Bug Farm.
  • Five tours of the exhibition through July and August, one with an artist guide, one with the NBGW’ Head of Interpretation and 3 with a scientist from Bristol University on secondment to the NBGW and a participant in the project. Total attendance 58 people.
  • Two tours followed by practical (Sculpture) workshops held in July at the NBGW for young people with learning difficulties
  • Assisted in the proposal for funding a Pollinator trail through St Davids (which was successful) following work produced at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm,
  • Visit to Cornell University (funded by AHRC) by two artists for one week in August, to arrange further development of art works and suggest future exhibition
  • A series of practical art workshops during Autumn half-term at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm for family groups producing cyanotypes. Twenty family groups in total.
  • Two day conference 10th and 11th November at UWTSD Swansea and Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm attended by 80 plus delegates with 19 speakers from the UK and USA and 2 workshop/events. (Funded through AHRC)
  • Opening 11th November 2017 of second venue of Cross-pollination exhibition at Dr Beynon’s Bug farm to coincide with 2nd day of conference, with Private View, artist’s talks, tour and optional ‘pollinator feast’.
  • Exhibition at the Bug Farm is running until Spring 2018
  • 21st -30th November two further artists visited Cornell University, USA to produce further works and arrange exhibition (funded through AHRC)
  • November 2017 Catrin Webster, artist in residence at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm

Future events

  • Easter 2020 Exhibition at Cornell University, arranged.
  • Exhibition and stall at Bristol and Bath Nature Fair June 2018, arrangements in hand
  • Summer 2018 exhibition on the Heart of Wales Line to coincide with 150th Anniversary celebrations, artists Andrea Liggins and Paul Jeff.
  • Completion of video for YouTube and lectures/presentations.



AHRC Environment Report

The Arts and Humanities Funding Council have chosen the Cross-pollination project for a publication on the work of the arts and humanities towards environmental research. To acompany thae article an image was selected, the Hoverfly textile piece by Karen Ingham. Please click on

Environment report   Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 19.54.09


Conference Programme

Register at

IMG_7517sm Bee by Myles Mansfield

Cross-pollination Conference 10th/11th November 2017

 Day 1: Friday 10th November 2017, 10.00am – 5.30pm at the Reading room, Alex Design Exchange, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, Swansea SA1 5DU

10.00 Coffee

10.30 Welcome

10.40 Introduction to the Project – Professor Andrea Liggins, UWTSD.

11.00 Keynote from the Science perspective – Multiple stresses on bees and     multiple solutions to improve pollinator health: New York as an emerging success story – Dr Scott McArt, Cornell University, New York, USA

11.30 Keynote from the Arts Perspective – Catching light – Seeing more than meets the eye – Dr Mark Cocks, UWTSD

12.00 Working with Artists – Mike Harrap, Bristol Bee Lab, University of Bristol

12.25 Communicating Cross-pollination – Dr Paul Thompson, University of Birmingham

12.50 Beyond Bees: the role of hoverflies in pollination – Andrew Lucas, Natural Resources Wales

13.15 Lunch and networking, slide show of artworks

14.00 A panel discussion about the experiences of the project and impact, with Dr Paul Jeff, Dr Tyra Oseng-Rees, Dr Sarah Beynon, Sinead Lynch, Prof Mike Christie, Sarah Tombs (Chair)

14.45 Crop Pollination – lessons learned across borders – Dr Tom Breeze, University of Reading

15.10 When Less is More – Professor Karen Ingham, UWTSD and Swansea University

15.35 Coffee

16.00 Every Last Mouthful – Chatwin and Martin

16.25 Remembering Forgotten Landscapes – Professor Andrea Liggins, UWTSD

16.50 Research, Festivals and Art: bringing research to the wider public – Duncan Coston, University of Reading

17.15 Round up discussions and thoughts to take to Day Two

17.40 Close

Cross-pollination Conference 10th/11th November 2017

Day 2: Saturday 11th November 2017, 11am – 5pm, Dr Beynons Bug Farm, St Davids, Pembrokeshire SA62 6BX

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Introduction to Policy for Pollinators – Professor Mike Christie, Aberystwyth University

11.50 Environment and Rural Affairs Policy development in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU – Ann Humble, Head of Evidence and Analysis, ERA EU Exit Division, Welsh Government

12.20 The Pollinator Trail – Dr Sarah Beynon, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm and Oxford University

12.50 Breaking the rules of science communication to better communicate science – Dr Peter Graystock, Cornell University, New York, USA

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Arts event – Sarah Tombs, UWTSD and Daniel Trivedy, Arts Council of Wales

14.15 The Process of Making – Dr Shelley Doolan, UWTSD

14.40 The Idea of Cross-pollination, from conceptual art to the concept of food – Dr Paul Jeff (UWTSD)

15.00 Questions and Discussions (with coffee/tea)– Professor Mike Christie (Chair)

15.50 Round up and close – Professor Mike Christie and Professor Andrea Liggins

16.15 Private View and Tour of Exhibition with the artists/scientists – led by Professor Andrea Liggins and Dr Tyra Oseng-Rees


18.30 approximately – Pollinator Feast and entertainment



Cross-pollination conference

Ingham image

There are still a few spaces for delegates at the Cross-pollination conference 10th/11th November. See below for details and register at


Exhibition Catalogue


Click on link above to see the Cross-pollination Catalogue ready for

the 10th/11th November Conference



Conference 10th/11th November 2017

Cross- pollination: Re-valuing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration

Day 1: Friday 10th November 2017, 10.00am – 5.30pm at the Reading room, Alex Design Exchange, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD SA1 5DU

Registration and coffee: 10.00am in the foyer outside the Reading room. Start 10.30am

Day 2 (optional): Saturday 11th November 2017, 11am – 5pm, Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, St Davids, Pembrokeshire SA62 6BX

Please register via Eventbrite on the following link:

About the Conference

The Cross-pollination project will conclude with a two day conference 10th November 2017 at the Reading Room, Alex Design Exchange, Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and 11th November 2017 at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, St Davids, Pembrokeshire followed by a private view of the exhibition and an optional ‘Pollinator Feast’ (there will be a charge of £22.50 for those attending the Feast, payable at the Bug Farm. Numbers are limited to 40 for the Feast).

Day One of the conference held at the Alex Design Exchange, Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, will present and open for discussion the results of this 20 month intensive project, by including speakers who are experts in their field, from across the UK and the USA, many of whom were involved in the project. Themes that will be discussed include: innovations in pollinator research, perception and language, art and science collaborative processes, creativity in research, and the art crit as a research tool; with many individual stories of the practicalities of artists and scientists working together.

Day Two of the conference will travel to Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, an award winning enterprise in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. The theme for this part of the conference will be focussed on policy-making and the contribution of art/science collaboration to the policy-making process both in the UK and overseas.After a wide and varied range of speakers, there will be an on-site tour of the exhibition, with views from the artists and scientists.

The Conference will close with the Private View of the exhibition.

In the evening there will be an optional ‘Pollinator Feast’ (we will not be eating pollinators!), cost £22.50, with musical entertainment, hosted by Dr Sarah Beynon and partner, award-winning chef Andy Holcroft as seen in the BBC programme The Bug Grub Couple.

A Conference Schedule, together with outline biographies of the speakers with follow shortly. A buffet and refreshments will be provided on both days.

Please register via Eventbrite on the following link:



Cross-pollination Exhibition

The Cross-pollination exhibition is now at Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, St Davids, Pembrokeshire. Official opening 11th November 2017.

The first Cross-pollination exhibition opens on Saturday 8th July and runs until 29th August and is in the Oriel Yr Ardd Gallery and in other sites at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The following collaborative projects will be on show – please see ‘Collaborations’ for further information and details of the venue are on the NBGW blog

From top clockwise – Hoverfly Picnic – Karen Ingham; Hoverfly Faces 1 & 2 – Andrea Liggins; Petal – Sarah Tombs; Fragile Traces – Carly Wilshere-Butler. Copyright property of the artists.


The Project

Cross -pollination -Revaluing Pollinators through Arts and Science Collaboration is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Networking project that aims to bring Art and Science together to produce creative art projects that explore and promote the crisis facing pollinators and to influence policy decision making.

Additional funding has been provided by the Arts Council of Wales, to enhance the art work production and to increase the impact of the project.

The project is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in partnership with Aberystwyth University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The ultimate aim is to contribute towards the protection of our pollinators

Intensive farming, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss and climate change across the world has resulted in a widespread decline of pollinators. There is evidence to suggest that the ways in which pollinators are perceived and valued has significant implications for their conservation. This project, Cross-pollination, will provide the opportunity for artists, art researchers, scientists, environmental linguists, specialists in economic evaluation of bio-diversity and environmental decision makers to share ideas, discuss values, and develop strategies for inter-disciplinary research and dissemination, with a particular focus on pollination decline.

There are 14 art- work projects in the pipeline -see under ‘COLLABORATIONS’.


Art Crits


Photograph by Jax Robinson

Two of the crucial events of this project are the ‘Art Crits’ to explore how the communication between the scientists and the artists will work and to further the understanding of the collaboration processes. The Art-crit is a model of learning whereby artists present their work to a group in order to gain feedback on how that work is being ‘read’ and ways that they might develop it further. The work ‘crit’ is a shortened version of the word critique (not criticism) and is a process in which people discuss ideas stimulated by an art object, drawing, painting etc. It is comparable to the 19th Century Salon, in which intellectuals, writers, artist and critics formed informal meetings to discuss the context, content, and rational behind an artwork or artefact together with an analysis of its aesthetic properties and visual intent.

The fist Art Crit has now been held using Skype where the collaborative projects were discussed in detail. The artists presented their work to date and this was discussed between the scientists and the artists. For ease of technology (although there are always some hitches) the projects were split into three sessions. The most significant question that arose from the science perspective, when looking at images for textiles, was

“How do people view this as information rather than a beautiful image?”

The artist responded  that art provokes responses and ideas rather than telling people the information. Intrigue encourages further investigation, so that viewers think and work at this information. It allows viewers to consider ‘visual information’ to create questioning, and this combined with the scientific research is especially helpful to visual learners to gain a more enriched experience and deeper understanding of the information holistically.

The sharing of ideas whilst viewing the work to date and the future plans encouraged further  collaborations between the scientists and the stakeholders, for example The Heart of Wales Line (Railway) is developing pollinator gardens at each of its stations, and is being renamed The Bee Line. Three artists are working on projects with The Bee Line, and as a result of the crit a collaboration has developed with Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Bee Line.

buzzing machine page 3a

The final Art Crit will now take place in June/July.