Mark and Sidney Evans and myself put in a successful bid to Yorkshire Artspace for an installation – the Exchange place Waggle Dance as part of Open Studios 2014.
We made and set up an installation that was fun and engaged with visitors to Exchange Place Studios to encourage them to visit all studios and to share feedback on their visits to other visitors.
The installation consisted of 5 hive boxes which were placed in the communal space on floor five next to studios 5.16 and 5.17.
The handmade easel with text explaining the piece and how to get involved was placed in Exchange Place Studios reception. Bee arrows were place on all floors and in the lift encouraging visitors to follow the bees to floor five.
Visitors were given at least 5 bee cards each. The bee card was a printed copy of an original water colour painted bee created by Mark Evans on one side with a reminder to put the studio number or name of artist visited and comments on the other side.
On returning their comments on the bee cards visitors who had visited every floor were able to pick up a reward of an original piece handmade by artists Lyn Carruthers and Mark Evans. This was an original work encased in a waxed (including some bees wax) teabag. The bee cards with comments were then attached to the appropriate artists broodframe.
Waxed teabag encasing original acrylic print by Lyn Carruthers
Winnona Evans dressed as the beekeeper and managed the installation on Friday 21st November whilst Lyn and Mark managed it on Saturday 22nd November.
So there was at least two waggle dances going on. Mark and Lyn shared their waggle dance (collecting all studio holders images, names and locations) with visitors and putting them in the hive. Visitors shared their waggle dance (feedback and comments on their visits to studios) with other visitors.
Outcomes in numbers:
850 Bee feedback cards given out to artists and visitors over the weekend
210 bee feedback cards returned with feedback
27 bee feedback cards returned to hive with artist’s names and no comments
42 Brood frames with comments returned to artists
80 pieces of art were given out to visitors
Work achieved within budget
Outcomes achieved for visitors:
- Many visitors engaged visited all five floors.
- Visitors said they enjoyed engaging with the “waggle dance” installation and like the idea.
- Visitors said they enjoyed reflecting on their visits to studios
- Visitors who visited every floor and providing feedback on their visits were rewarded.
Outcomes for artists:
Artists received feedback on visits to their studio Lyn Carruthers and Mark Evans developed their artistic practice.
Outcomes for Yorkshire Artspace:
- Active and engaged visitors
- Artists on all floors had more visitors
- A project that was used in publicity to attract visitors
Artists comments from Facebook – Exchange Place Artists Group Page
- Sharon Mossbeck-Artist Thank you. I was surprised to get 5 comments on mine, I always assume no one will be that bothered about what I’m up to lol. Do you need the trays back?
- Joanne Badger Thankyou so much Lyn & Mark, it was a wonderful idea and really well presented, all my visitors enjoyed it x
- Debra Burrell Hi I saw mine today. Thankyou for doing that. Dead chuffed. Debsx
- Sophie Cooke thank so much for mine too…now i really have to get my shelf put up so that i can display it with pride! thank you so, so much
- Emma Metcalfe Thanks so much for my beehive frame which I have just found outside my door! It’s made my day
- Henk Littlewood Thanks to Lyn Carruthers and Mark Sidney Evans feedback on open studios.
What we felt went well:
- Got some useful positive feedback from some artists re our work
- It was hard work but fun
- Got a good and positive response from visitors
- Managed to engage most of the artists in the building who helped and supported waggle dance
- Got people to fifth floor and moving round building
- Feedback from visitors that it made them think about their visits and get round to more artists
- Visitors liked the idea but declined to do it due to time commitments
- Installation looked visually good and was hands on
- Using a beekeeper worked
- Visitors of all ages engaged in the waggle dance
- Bee feedback cards worked well and we got lots of compliments on the bee image created by Mark
- Thought that posters and bee arrows worked