“The bee knows no borders only corridors of flowers,” said artist Jessica Albarn who is launching a solo show this month at London’s Lawrence Alkin Gallery. Entitled Creation, it's a visual record and documentary of the development of a living meadow in Devon, which Jessica describes as the "perfect antidote to life in London".
Focusing on ecology and the renewal of life, her series of artworks features a range of mixed and multimedia, all devoted to bees, spiders, butterflies, mice and birds such as the common Wren. From large paintings on canvas to fine pencil drawings that Jessica is known for, the show will also feature a stop-animation film (with music composed by Nick Powell) and a piece using electric ink which brings its own unique aural element.
Stemming from Jessica's appreciation of a species so crucial to the survival of the human race, the meadow is a conservation art project designed to encourage two rare types of bee, the Blaeberry bumblebee and the Shrill Carder bee. The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust advised on the meadow setup and the types of flowers and grasses that should be planted.
Jessica explained: “I’ve long drawn inspiration from nature, particularly bees, and the meadow is my way of giving something back. I wanted to do the very best to encourage wildlife and support the ecosystem so enlisted the help of conservation experts. Now in its second year, the meadow is still in development but Creation tells the story so far. My work is an archive of the land in art form."
The meadow is covered with thick wild grass and flowers but is also a work of art in itself. Jessica adds: “There are six hexagons cut into the land to create a structural element from aerial view. The shapes represent the geometry of life and how we are all connected. Geometric elements feature in many of my works.”
With recent political events, including Brexit, Jessica feels the general mood in London is heavy and takes solace in the meadow. She said: “The meadow’s peace and tranquility is something I dream about when I’m not there and with my work being on show in London I hope I bring a little slice of it back to the city. We’ve all got so wrapped up in politics recently; it’s easy to forget there are larger forces at play around us. Nature can be brutal; it teaches us about life and death, resilience and renewal. It’s something us Londoners perhaps don’t get enough of and it really is quite humbling.”
Creation runs from Friday 2 September to Saturday 17 September at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, 42 New Compton Street London WC2H 8DA. Find out more at www.lawrencealkingallery.com.
Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Jessica Albarn