10am to 5pm (closes 1pm on Saturday, other venues open until 5pm)
Discover why bees see patterns we can’t, taste honey produced in one of London’s eight Royal Parks and walk through a room full of flowers in The National Gallery.
Between 17 and 20 February 2016, ‘A Right Royal Buzz’ exhibition will take place across three venues in central London: Duck Island Cottage in St James’s Park, The National Gallery and Mall Galleries.
This community arts project led by The Royal Parks aims to teach the public about the importance of pollination, through the medium of art. Artist in Residence, Alex Hirtzel has run a series of workshops with the general public and local organisations, including a nursery and a sixth form to create art for this exhibition trail.
Peep into a large blacked-out box in Mall Galleries to experience how bees see. Discover how ultraviolet light - invisible to humans - uncovers patterns on plants and draw bees to the source of pollen and nectar. These distinct patterns act as landing strips or arrows guiding them to the right spot.
At The National Gallery, walk through a room full of 3D flowers inspired by two famous paintings from the Gallery’s collection, Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh and Flowers in a Terracotta Vase by Jan Van Huysum. Learn what plants you can grow to attract bees and other pollinators into your garden, balcony or window box.
Finally, meander through St James’s Park, the oldest of London’s Royal Parks, and stop by Duck Island Cottage to see a four foot beehive made from ceramic tiles, with a bug hotel on the reverse. The tiles have been designed by an intergenerational collaboration between students from Harris Westminster Sixth Form and members of locally based ETAT (Encouragement Through the Arts and Talking).
Inside the cottage (normally closed off to the public), you can taste honey produced in The Royal Parks and view new art created by Alex Hirtzel.
Image credit 'A Right Royal Buzz' Community Art Day at Victoria Tower Gardens