A time to be alive to the vulnerability – and vitality – of the natural world.

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In an exciting new partnership with award winning art – science organisation Invisible Dust, we’re delighted to launch ‘Garden to Garden‘, a programme that explores the changing ways we see, hear and experience nature; all through the lens of bees.

In these unusual times, as many have been forced to slow down and stay home, we gain an opportunity to see deeper into our home worlds. A garden, window box or our local public green space, offers the perfect setting for some creative exploration that delves deep into the natural world that surrounds us.

Led by visual artist Feral Practice with the support of sound artist Rob Mackay, in collaboration with a range of scientists and researchers from across the UK, this digital programme will connect a global digital network of people exploring their own green spaces to South Cliff Gardens.

Through educational resources for young people and families, and a final film celebrating our bees, ‘Garden to Garden’ brings us into creative dialogue with the insects and nature that we coexist with – and depend on.

Victorian Legacy

Looking back at SCG’s Victorian heritage, ‘Garden to Garden‘ is an opportunity to reflect where we are as a people and planet, and to look back at the past and connect ourselves to some of the ways of being that we have perhaps lost – and can learn from again.
From learning from the Victorians with an Insect and flower Identification guide and going ‘Ento-Sleuthing’ with hand held microscope, this project will explore how Victoria entomologists learnt about their subjects – and see how it compares with and influences the way entomologists collect data and study today.

19th Century Bee Identification Guide
19th Century Bee Identification Guide

Why Bees?

Insects are rarely seen as glamorous or charismatic, despite their astonishing beauty and variety, yet we are more dependent on these little creatures than any other animal group. Humans are directly reliant on pollinating insects for our food and the fertility of our planet – however widespread pesticide use, habitat loss, climate change and diseases have proved devastating to bee populations worldwide.

Bees are especially vulnerable because they are directly impacted by industrial bee farming; commercial bees not only compete for forage, but harbour disease and parasites that are passed to wild bees via shared flowers.

To explore their beauty and fragility, sound artist Rob Mackay will be delving deep into the soundscapes of bees with miniature mics expertly designed to work on the microscopic level – such as the one below.

A very small microphone. About the size of a thumb nail.
A very small microphone

New film work:

Due to be released in September 2020, a new HD short film created by Feral Practice with sound in collaboration with Rob Mackay will reveal the diverse and fascinating life worlds of bees and other pollinators visiting our gardens.

The film will bring together film and field recordings of bees and pollinators with archival footage from South Cliff Gardens, interviews with scientists and research partners and conversations with a range of Scarborough residents and user groups.

Educational Resources:

‘Garden to Garden’ has launched an artist-created insect adventure ‘Ento-Sleuthing’ for young people and families to help inspire a new generation of nature explorers across Scarborough and worldwide.

This activity inspires us to learn from the Victorians and go on Micro-Cosmic Journeys – ‘Ento-Sleuthing’ with hand held microscopes and more!

#GardentoGarden competition winners announced!

Our Partners:

‘Garden to Garden‘ is commissioned by Invisible Dust in partnership with the South Cliff Gardens National Lottery Heritage Fund Team, Scarborough Borough Council, with the support of the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.

Research for ‘Garden to Garden’ is informed by scientists at Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at University of York, Yorkshire Naturalists Union, Scarborough Field Naturalists Society,and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Our Artists:

Find out more about the artists at their artist page on the Invisible Dust website:

Feral Practice
Rob Mackay