Press Releases 2014-2015

Where Art, Science and Nature Meet

04.08.2015

Professor Andrea Liggins, photographic artist and retired Dean of Art and Design at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, has recently organised a pioneering project that will combine Art with Science on the subject of honeybees and wild pollinators, which has been submitted for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Pollinators are facing huge declines due to habitat loss, climate change, pests and diseases. The project has sparked interest across many organisations and a large number of different groups want to get involved with the project.

Top scientists in the field of insect pollination, UK and the USA, have accepted invitations to meet and work with a range of accomplished artists over the next two years, to discuss and develop research projects that will help safeguard pollinators for the future. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, will lead the way in this latest Art/Science venture, with Professor Mike Christie at Aberystwyth University and Dr Natasha de Vere, Head of Conservation and Science at the  National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW).

Some of the organisations who are taking part include The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, Aberystwyth University, Buglife, Dr Sarah Beynon (Dr Beynon's Bug Farm), linguists researching environmental language at the University of Birmingham and the Land/Water Visual Arts group at Plymouth University.

Andrea’s plan is to combine this group of organisations and individuals to consider the different perspectives and approaches to pollinators, when carrying out important pollinator research. 

Andrea explains: “People often think of scientists and artists at opposite ends of the spectrum in their work life, even though they may share the same interests in music, theatre and sports for example. It is true that they can work in very different ways, and see the world differently, even use a different language when talking about their work. However, they share a lot of similarities, they are usually passionate about what they do, and it is usually not a 9 to 5 job but can occupy their time and their thoughts day and night. Often for both scientists and artists their work is a leap into the unknown, and they both ask the question ‘what if?’

Andrea has collaborated with Natasha De Vere (NBGW) on the Barcode Wales and UK projects, exhibiting the photography in China and India and at the National Eisteddfod, Llanelli 2014. Some of these photographs are being displayed at the NBGW, on the walls of the double walled garden this August and throughout the following year.

 Dr Natasha de Vere said: “Artists and scientists have different training and this affects their views of the world. Working with artists helps me see the work from alternative perspectives, helps me come up with new ideas and think more creatively.”

Through the months of preparation for this project Andrea also met the organiser of the ‘120 Miles of Station Garden project’, which is a project to plant bee gardens along the Heart of Wales Line (Arriva Trains). She will be photographing the volunteers over the next year along the whole line from Swansea to Shrewsbury.

Note to Editor

  1. For more information please contact Sara Jones, PR and Communications Officer, on 07449 998 478 or via email at sara.f.jones@uwtsd.ac.uk
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014