Thursday, 13 June 2013

Bee Clever with Ecover and Ptolemy

Not many people inspire me anymore, don't get me wrong I have idols and those that admire but I mean really REALLY make me want to get up and do something......create, dream, fulfil and dare I say THINK!

When I found out that I had been picked as Ecover's Citizen Journalist I was thrilled, mainly because it is a company that I hold in high regards but also that I get to go to Glastonbury my second favourite place in world (I'll get to my first in moment) for the unveiling of an art piece.

Art is so vocal. 

It can stir up places other genres fail to reach. Just think back to the controversy caused by Alison Lapper's Pregnant because it caused people to really look at things that maybe they just didn't want to! 

It can successfully be used to highlight issues and campaigns and so Ecover commissioned renowned artist Ptolemy Elrington to make art that spoke on many levels about their amazing campaign of Message in our Bottle. If you are unfamiliar just hit that link and find out in detail the incredible endeavour they have undertaken.

I don't know what I expected when I along to Brighton to meet Ptolemy, from the work that he has previously created I had a feeling it would be incredible but I had no idea just HOW awe inspiring it is!
Brought up in a very creative environment and having parents involved within the arts, Ptolemy knew from his early twenties that he would be an artist. Loving the fact he can give something discarded and unwanted a new, different life cycle. You can view more works at

Arriving at the farm from where he works outside his studio; mostly for larger pieces, it is a beautiful setting deep in the countryside of Brighton's outskirts. Peaceful with loads of space and very little distractions I can see why you would want to work there...

Ptolemy wasn't all Quinton Crisp in fact in overalls and quite Unassuming You would never know that you were in front of such a creative genius!

We were shown around the workshop where he has friends making bespoke gates and other large metal works, a real blacksmiths heaven complete with anvil, I felt as though I had stepped back in time to some medieval weaponry makers! As you can see this is a well used workshop and it smells amazing, all hot, metally and well worked in! If you could smell creation I believe this would what it would be like.

We were then to meet our art installation a 20 ft high Bee which has BEEn named Bee Clever.
When the interview took place there was still 5 weeks or so left until the festival so BC was far from finished but by jove you can already see how incredible it will BEE! 

Firstly is the lone standing Aster which looks like a huge petalled wind turbine, the only part made from bought steel as to adhere to health and safety it will eventually light up and well I cannot wait to sit beneath it and read a book! That was my instant 'want' as I saw it.

BC himself already has a persona all of his own, made entirely from donated/ recycled plastic and metal he stands with a presence that cannot fail to make you stop. I dare not imagine the image he will give off when finished. 
The body is made from donated aqua bottles the type you find in offices for the water fountain. Inside Ptolemy has set lights which will work on an internal computer sequencer, various light sequences will constantly give BC different characteristics. 

The antenna are door frames from a car and yet give off a real insect feel which is incredible and makes all the more sense of Ptolemy's view of giving everything a second chance.

The Aster on which BC will stand collecting pollen is enormous and made from individual hub cap petals, each painstakingly cut by hand to fit and once more have a use. Cased within reused Supermarket trolley metal!

I am very very excited and what Ptolemy has made is just awesome and thought provoking. Not just for the Ecover campaign but connecting it to the plight of the humble bee. The connection in itself being a circle of life.

I will of course along with Naomi from Tattooed Mummy be bringing you all the best bits from this years Glastonbury Festival, if you see us come and say hi we will be a (small but non the less fabulous) swarm of Bees walking around the site. 

Bee Clever himself will be situated in William's Green so make sure you wander over and say hi and learn more about Message in Our Bottle