Bees bumbling around the kitchen table. 2014. Mixed media on paper.
In an exhibition which has just opened at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Kurt Jackson is showcasing new work which celebrates the importance and diversity of bees.
Acknowledging the dangers faced by British bees, Kurt Jackson has spent the past few years exploring the world of pollinators, producing a collection of pieces that are also informed by his grounding in the sciences and his experience as a beekeeper in Cornwall.
Bees (and the odd wasp) in my bonnet brings this body of work together for the first time and includes both plein air and studio pieces, embracing an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print making and sculpture.
Give bees a chance, 2013. Drypoint edition of 50.
In collaboration with the Museum of Natural History, the show presents Jackson’s artworks alongside specimens from the collections, including a display of all British bee species, numbering approximately 270 in total, and archival material from the Museum’s library and archives. Along with the latest scientific research into the hazards facing bees, such as neonicotinoid pesticides and habitat losses, the exhibition offers a reflective and empirical view of British bees and wasps.
“My interests in the natural history of bees and wasps goes back to my youth,” says Kurt Jackson. “As a student reading Zoology at Oxford University I joined an expedition to the Venezuelan Amazon and brought back half a dozen wasp specimens with drawings and information about their nests. They were thought to be new species and the Museum of Natural History in Oxford took the specimens and related material. So it seems entirely logical that I should now return to Oxford to show this new body of work at the Museum.”
The exhibition forms part of the Museum of Natural History’s Visions of Nature year during 2016.
Bees (and the odd wasp) in my bonnet runs at Oxford University Museum of Natural History until 29 September.
Visit Kurt Jackson’s website here