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ʽDisplays Decodedʼ The Multi-sensory Language of Flowers – POSTPONED until Summer 2021

Saturday 4 July 2020 at 8:30 am to Wednesday 30 September 2020 at 5:00 pm

Due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to postpone our Summer Art Exhibition with artist Alex Hirtzel and Biologist Dr Dave Lawson at the Garden until July – October 2021.

Science research is revealing new ways in which pollinators are attracted to plants. This research is happening at a time when insect populations continue to decline. Pollinators are attracted to flowers in several different ways, which are collectively known as ‘sensory modalities.’ Through interactive sculptures, ultra-violet prints and heat sensitive materials, Alex’s artwork demonstrates some of the principle modalities: scent, UV light and colour patterns, static attraction, and the cellular structure of the flowers themselves. Her work re-constructs 17th century Dutch flower paintings from the Broughton Collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge in a series of prints called ‘Tipping Point,’ with vases toppling over to reflect today’s global ecological crisis. Other aspects of her work are more interactive, inviting visitors to experience for themselves how bees and other pollinators sense static from flowers, or are affected by a flower’s scent.

Dr Dave Lawson’s research focuses on hidden aspects of floral displays and the effects that these display components have on foraging pollinators. Inspired by this research, Alex has created multimedia artwork which highlights on how a bee visualises and interacts with flowers. Previously, artist in residence at The Royal Parks in London, where she exhibited in St James’s Park, Alex’s focus has long been on portraying the scientific relationship between pollinators and flowers in her art.

The interactive elements of this exhibition are currently impossible because of current social distancing guidelines. We have therefore decided that the exhibition will now be taking place from July until October 2021 at the Garden. Alex and Dave are both glad that this exhibition is now planned for 2021 and look forward to welcoming both students and visitors to discover the fascinating relationship between bees and flowers!

Curator Nick Wray said, ‘as a team we have been working closely with Alex and Dave, we are excited to be hosting this exhibition, which will allow people to experience the complex and multi-layered ways by which pollinators interact with flowers’.



Saturday 4 July 2020 at 8:30 am
Wednesday 30 September 2020 at 5:00 pm
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University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop
Bristol, BS9 1JG United Kingdom
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0117 42 82041

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