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Paintings by Stephen Livingstone

17th May 2022 @ 10:30 am 3rd July 2022 @ 4:30 pm

Beehives are places of mystery and magic. Even beekeepers, who over many centuries have developed an intimate, symbiotic relationship with honeybees, can never properly understand the complex inner-workings of their hives.

The paintings in this exhibition are a visualisation of the inside of a working beehive, an attempt to represent the activities of the queens, workers and drones throughout a ‘bee year’. They portray, in symbolic form, the bee’s political and social activities and their often desperate efforts to survive, aided and abetted by the interventions of their human guardians. The paintings are cutaways, architectural diagrams of the interior structures of a beehive, each panel representing a particular part of the hive, the colours selected and layered in order to evoke the light and scent sensing experiences of the bees.

The exhibition has been made in collaboration with Penrith Beekeepers Association and is supported by Arts Council England.

Stephen Livingstone is a visual artist who is based in Durham. His work deals with human impact upon landscapes and habitats and often involves collaboration with museums and archives, academic institutions and individuals with specialist knowledge and skills. He has developed major projects for the British Library, the National Trust, Durham University and the Museum of Art and Design in New York.