MORE than 80 giant bees are being placed throughout Manchester in July 2018 as part of the ‘Bee in the City’ campaign.
The art trail is inspired by the Manchester Working bee emblem which symbolises the industry of the city.
Each bee will have its own unique design, with local references such as ‘Bee-am Gallagher’ and a ‘Bee Gee’ bee to be included.
Artist Jodie Silverman has been asked to take on this project. She said: “They said they wanted a friendly approachable bee, so that was my brief.
“The inspiration was the Manchester bee and how much that has come to mean to some people.
It symbolises Manchester’s industrial resilience and how people come together.”
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said:
“The bee symbolises the industrious, creative and energetic spirit of Manchester and its people. Bee in the City will build on Manchester’s reputation for innovation and the role that culture plays at the heart of city life.”
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, director of Wild in Art said: “Bee in the City will become Manchester’s buzzword, attracting many new partnerships and collaborations to create a very special event.
“It promises to connect, inspire and bring huge benefit and enjoyment to all communities.”
Jodie Silverman said: “Hopefully the people will have a positive reaction to it. It’s all for charity, so hopefully they’ll recognise these bees will be auctioned, and hopefully realise most of the money made will go back into Manchester.
“I think it will bring a lot of colour and life to the city. I’m hoping people will love it and embrace it and see that it is being done in a positive way.”
The project adds to multiple works of art that are based around Manchester from artists such as OuthouseMCR and Akse.
Jodie said: “I really like street art and the idea of things being in the public realm. You’ll get people who never go to a gallery to see your work. They might seek it out or stumble across it by accident.
“Art can be seen as elitist at times and I like the fact this can be accessible to everybody.”
The campaign has been designed to encourage Manchester to utilise its creative side and express positivity around the city. However, not all responses have been positive.
Trails are great. I make trails at work. They're fun! Yeah! But the bee symbol is quickly becoming tacky. Its use for 'solidarity' was lovely, but now… kind of feels disappointingly commercial.
— Jenny (@QueenOfTheSonic) November 29, 2017
The Manchester bee took on further importance in the city after the Manchester Arena bombing on the 22nd May.
The city have taken inspiration from the ‘Great North Snowdogs’ campaign in the North East. This attracted an abundance of tourists and raised over £16 million for the area.
All the money raised from this project will go to the ‘We Love Manchester’ fund.