Rebecca Chesney was a YSP Visiting Artist in 2010 and spent time surveying the parkland for species of bumblebees and solitary bees, and all the plants they feed on. After setting up two honey beehives on site, she shadowed the regional bee inspector to learn beekeeping skills and observe the life cycle of the honey bee at close range. These two honeybee colonies continue to thrive under the care of the bee inspector and produce honey that is sold in the YSP Shop.
This year, Chesney returns to YSP to develop a new body of work in response to current bee populations. Our Future Sorrows invites visitors to the Park to participate in the project by adding to a digital map of bees and bee-friendly plants. Chesney aims to reignite conversations about the importance of bees, the threats that they continue to be under, and what we can all do to help.
Bees are incredibly important to our planet and are essential to the health of a balanced ecosystem. They not only pollinate trees and flowers, that in turn filter our air and provide habitats for wildlife, but they also pollinate our food crops. Bees are facing many threats including habitat loss, climate change and use of toxic pesticides.
Chesney’s work looks at our complex relationship with the natural world by engaging with issues of culture, politics and power. Her artworks, which take the form of installations, videos, drawings, maps and walks, are often created in response to specific places and underpinned by environmental research. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.