‘Of De Bees Enemi’s’ moving image installation 10 minutes 43 seconds HD Video
The Bees Enemies is shown as a series of looped films in a hexagon cells set horizontal in a display case, as if it was an object displayed from the collection. Watkins with his inventions and his position in the period of the midlands enlightenment together with his interest in ley lines is compelling. I filmed in an orchard owned by Butford Organics a mile from Blackwardine cross roads, where Watkins original inspiration came to him about leys. For him the leys demonstrated an advanced system of trade routes across the country, the figures walking in ‘The Bees Enemies’ reference his ideas and the land artists who were influenced by him.
I am fascinated by the Bee Van – which Watkins rode around the countryside using magic lantern presentations to persuade bee keepers not to ‘kill the bees’, but to adopt his modern and sustainable approach to beekeeping. When harvesting the honey the bee keepers used to burn sulphur under the hives. The idea of having to protect ourselves from nature a sense of a dangerous and uncivilised nature intrigued me. Charles Butlers 500 year old publication ‘The Feminin’ Monarki’s section entitled ‘of De Bees Enemi’s’ opens ‘the good bee as other good things, have many enemies; from which she needs your help to defend her.’ Now we are in a global ecological crisis, with millions of bees, I believe, dying from neonicotinoid insecticides, put there to protect us from nature.