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The National Gallery, Mall Galleries and The Royal Park have teamed up to educate people about the importance of Bees to pollination.


Between 17 and 20 February,  ‘A Right Royal Buzz’ exhibition will take place across the three venues.

This community arts project led by The Royal Parks aims to teach the public about the importance of pollination, through the medium of art.
 
Artist in Residence, Alex Hirtzel has undertaken workshops with the general public and local organisations, including a nursery and a sixth form to create art for the exhibition.
 
Peep into a large blacked-out box in Mall Galleries to experience how bees see. Discover how ultraviolet light - invisible to humans - uncovers patterns on plants and draw bees to the source of pollen and nectar.  These distinct patterns act as landing strips or arrows guiding them to the right spot.
 
At The National Gallery, walk through a room full of 3D flowers inspired by two famous paintings in the Gallery’s collection, ‘Sunflowers’ by Vincent Van Gogh and ‘Flowers in a Terracotta Vase’ by Jan Van Huysum.  Learn what plants you can grow to attract bees and other pollinators into your garden, balcony or window box.
 
Finally, meander through St James’s Park, the oldest of London’s Royal Parks, and stop by Duck Island Cottage to see a four foot beehive made from ceramic tiles, with a bug hotel on the reverse. The tiles have been designed by an intergenerational collaboration between students from Harris Westminster Sixth Form and members of locally based ETAT (Encouragement Through the Arts and Talking).
 
Inside the cottage, normally closed off to the public, you can taste honey produced in the Royal Parks and see art produced by Alex Hirtzel.
 
The Royal Parks has recently produced a pollinator strategy to complement the work that is already taking place across London’s eight parks. This includes habitat improvements, reducing the use of pesticides and monitoring bee health.
 
Sophie Martin, Family and Children’s Programmer at the National Gallery, said: “Being involved in this project has enabled the National Gallery to work with local families to create important works of art that highlight the importance of sustaining London’s wildlife.
 
“We have also been able to use two of our most famous floral paintings to help teach community members about how flowers attract and support different forms of pollination which are vital to maintaining delicate eco systems”.
 
Lewis McNaught, Director of Mall Galleries said: “This exciting partnership is proof that art helps us discover more about the world around us. Bringing together organisations and audiences from different fields is inspiring for both the wider public as well as everyone working in our institutions.”
 
For more information on the project visit www.royalparks.gsi.gov.uk/arightroyalbuzz

Notes to editors:
 
Opening times: Every day between 10am and 5pm, with the exception of Saturday when Mall Galleries closes at 1pm.
The exhibition will take place in Duck Island Cottage in St James’s Park, Learning Centre at Mall Galleries and the Learning Gallery at The National Gallery.
ETAT (Encouragement Through Arts and Talking) was set up by Dr Mary Catteral for isolated people to relieve loneliness through arts, craft and talking.
 
 
About The Royal Parks:ʉ۬
Every year there are an estimated 77 million visits to London’s eight Royal Parks. The 5,000 acres of historic parkland provide unparalleled opportunities for enjoyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of London. 
 
The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Garden and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street. 
 
For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk.
 
For media enquiries contact: 0300 061 2128 or press@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.
 
About The National Gallery:
The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of European paintings in the world, which is free to visit and open 361 days of the year. The Collection consists of over 2,300 paintings from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.  All major traditions of Western European painting are represented, with artists including Titian, Monet, Velázquez, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Gallery is a world centre of excellence for the scientific study, art historical research and care of European paintings from the 13th to the early 20th century.
 
More at www.nationalgallery.org.uk
 
 
About Mall Galleries:
The Federation of British Artists/Mall Galleries is a registered charity with a mission to foster a dynamic relationship between an exciting exhibition programme and a diverse range of creative learning opportunities for young and adult audiences from all over the UK. The Federation is a unique national resource, championing young emerging talent together with well-established artists.
 
Education and accessibility lie at the heart of Mall Galleries. Through offering an active and inclusive learning programme to audiences from all ages and backgrounds, the Galleries promote innovative and creative partnerships across different sectors. 
 
For further information please visit: www.mallgalleries.org.uk
For media enquiries contact:  press@mallgalleries.com or 020 7930 6844
 
 
About Alex Hirtzel:
Alex has wide experience of working as a multi-disciplined artist, with science and history as particular focuses. 
Alex is currently working with plant scientists at the University of Cambridge. Her most recent exhibitions in London and Cambridge draw on her work with a team of archaeologists in Kurdish Turkey, who are excavating an ancient Assyrian site along the River Tigris.  

Alongside producing her own art, Alex works with museums including the Wallace Collection and the Museum of London, including running a wide variety of community workshops across London and Cambridge.

In 2015, Alex participated in the Clore Leadership Programme, and co-organised the Art, Language, Location festival in Cambridge. Her MA in Fine Art at Cardiff followed undergraduate degrees in Fine Art at Byam Shaw, London, and History of Art and Education at Cambridge.
Copyright © 2016 Mall Galleries, All rights reserved.


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