The story of bees and their connection to our everyday life has resonated with students creating art for the upcoming CrossXpollinatioN textile exhibition in Colac.
Students from more than 10 Colac and district schools worked with local environmental artist Veronica Phillips to create a swarm of felted wool bees in response to the exhibition’s theme – ‘Connections’ – which will hang in the COPACC foyer from 28 June to 17 July.
Ms Phillips said the bees had a great fit with CrossXpollinatioN’s Connections theme, and the children loved how their work had an important story.
She said the students were well aware of bees’ connection and importance in our lives, in nature and in producing our food, with two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production benefiting from bee pollination.
The students from St Brendan’s, Trinity, Lismore, Forrest, Deans Marsh, Winchelsea, Colac East, Carlisle River and Alvie, as well as visiting students from Thomas Carr College Tarneit at the Good Samaritan Campus Cororooke have made more 300 felt bees for the display.
She said the bees were created using a technique called needle felting, using wool that Tom Dennis at historic sheep farming property Tarndwarncoort dyed especially for the project.
“Some of the students had done felting before but this technique is a little different. They loved the tactile feel of the wool and the fact that the wool came from a local farm.
“The project also got them talking about the importance of bees. Nature and art go really well together; the story helps stimulate their imagination, it’s really lovely.”
She said the importance of bees was a topic that had been talked about more in recent years, and many of the students’ families kept bees.
“Children knew a lot more about it and they talk about it and teach each other and learn from one another,” she said.
Ms Phillips anticipated that many of the students would take friends and family along to see their work as well as other works in the exhibition.