There’s a buzz at Old Trafford’s community health and wellbeing hub, Limelight, as its giant bee is revealed for the opening of the spectacular ‘Bee in the City’ public art event.
Bee in the City was created by global public art producer Wild in Art – the team behind 2004 installation CowParade – and Manchester City Council. It was created to bring communities together, which is what Limelight is all about.
The Limelight bee, named ‘Bee Together’, will be displayed as part of an educational trail around Manchester. The city features 100 giant bees designed by a different artists and iconic people to celebrate Manchester’s uniqueness.
Limelight partnered with local ‘Look Again’ artist Lynda Sterling to create the design for its bee which uses vibrant colours and eye-catching shapes. Almost 250 local people ranging from 10 weeks to 80 years old added a unique touch by finger painting bees onto the giant bee sculpture, creating a sense of pride and ownership in the community.
Lynda, who also volunteers at Limelight and runs a weekly Drawing Social group, says: “The inspiration behind the design for the Limelight bee was to include as many members of the community as possible. We used fingerprints to create little bees and allow people to add their mark and create a sense of pride.
The fingerprints remind us that we’re all the same yet unique and showcase the diversity of the wonderful Old Trafford community.
“The rest of the design was inspired by the Limelight branding, such as the vibrant green and yellow colours and abstract triangular shapes. My intention was to use the bee sculpture as a 3D canvas to paint on but this was a lot harder than I thought due to the crazy shapes of the legs!”
Limelight Centre Manager David Teasdale adds: “The Bee in the City event is a fantastic way to bring people together and a fun way to learn about the city’s unique history, which is why we named our bee ‘Bee together’.
We welcome people from everywhere to come and see the bee and explore what Limelight and the Old Trafford community has to offer.”
The Bee in the City event will run from 23rd July until 23 September. Limelight held a special welcoming party for the reveal of its bee with fun activities like face-painting, bee cakes and bee antenna craft-making.
The worker bee was chosen as a symbol for the Bee in the City project as it is an iconic part of the Manchester’s history, representing its spirit of enterprise, resilience and industriousness.
The trail will weave its way through the city, stopping off at Blackley and Heaton Park, East Manchester and Harpurhey, Collyhurst, Longsight and Levenshulme, Wythenshawe and Didsbury, Old Trafford and The Quays.