Co-creation is at the heart of Honeyscribe's work, inspired by the collective acts of bees and other pollinators.
We collaborate with communities to integrate diverse stories into our work, and support social cohesion by engaging people in creative practice.
We have worked in a wide range of locations over multiple years, building sustained relationships and trust. Our residency at Exeter Custom House allows us to deepen and extend the intimate work with communities and wider publics that began with Honeyscribe Hive in 2014.
Roots: connecting people and place
We have developed a whole body of work engaging hospital communities, patient groups and healthcare professionals, and work to support healthy societies by connecting individuals to their locales, the natural world and one another.
The Anthology: Moretonhampstead Herbarium (2019) was one of our first projects of this kind. This lightbox artwork was the result of a 2-year residency in the ancient town of Moretonhampstead. It illuminates the flowers collected by local residents from their gardens and allotments alongside the wildflowers that Amy Shelton gathered from the hedgerows and edges of the moor. It not only celebrates the biodiverse flora growing in the town, but also the diversity of the community who live there.
As part of the residency Shelton worked with the entire school community of Moretonhampstead Primary, and a group of elders at Coppelia House Residential Home. Many of the elderly residents recalled childhood memories of wildflowers growing in abundance where they played, including vermillion Poppies, Ox-Eye Daisies, Yellow Rattle and vibrant blue Flax - all of which have since been in decline.
The GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives at the Health Centre invited their patients to contribute a pressed flower when visiting the surgery. Plant samples were also collected in the post office, pub, hairdressers, school and cafe, with people of all ages contributing plants that had personal meaning. Each carefully pressed botanical sample tells a quiet, intimate story. By mapping the cherished flowers that are grown for pleasure and for food, the artwork reflects the diversity of the community. Many of the flowers encapsulated in the artwork were submitted with labels explaining their significance to the grower, or simply the OS reference of where they were found. These are interwoven with flowers from wedding bouquets, flowers picked the day a baby was born, and favourite plant samples from the GPs, nurses and midwives working at the Health Centre.
Anthology: Moretonhampstead Herbarium (2019) is now permanently installed in the Health Centre waiting room as a tribute to the community.
Commissioned by Green Hill Arts
Herald of Spring (2021)
A Florilegium lightbox artwork capturing the first wildflowers of early Spring as a positive tool for wellbeing. It documents the unfurling of flora along the River Valley Parks, River Exe and Canal from Exeter to the Estuary in a visual map - an optimistic record of the natural world bursting into life during the tough lockdown months of early 2021.
Created during lockdown 2, the project supports two strands of community engagement for local residents - those living in Shilhay housing on Commercial Road and ninety Year 1 pupils at Ladysmith Federation Infant School, their families and teaching staff. We are working particularly closely with 30 pupils in this year group who are children of key workers, many of whom work at the RD&E hospital near the school.
Wild plant samples collected daily by Shelton from the locale have been delivered to local residents as art packs bringing the natural world into the homes of those still shielding, whilst supporting those able to get out for daily exercise to more closely observe the details of trees, plants and flowers growing in their local environment.
These early harbingers of Spring include Primroses, Snowdrops, Celandine, Blackthorn and Sweet Scented Coltsfoot re-emerging as deep Winter passes into early Spring and the daylight hours increase.
The Herald of Spring (2021) lightbox artwork will be on display at Exeter Custom House in 2021/22 inviting visitors to the engage with the biodiversity of the canal and quay area.
Commissioned by Exeter Canal and Quay Trust
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