20th March 2017 to 12th May 2017: 6000 Flowers Art Exhibition

Organised by: Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI)

Held at: The Creative Exchange, ESI, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE

Artist Proposal Submission Dates: From 9am 13th February to 5pm on 15th February 2017 (please note applications received after this period will not be considered).

Artist proposals to be sent to:

We invite photographers and visual artists to submit a proposal to create an artwork/s that responds to the cutting edge research work currently being undertaken by the ESI and the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) through their Farms for AONBees project.

Farms for AONBees is seeking to make a significant difference to the quality of our landscapes for conservation and food production. At the core of this project is a computer programme developed in the pollinators research group at the University of Exeter, that replicates the foraging and colony survival of bees in realistic landscapes.

This cutting edge, but easy to use program, can predict where bees are feeding, what they are feeding on and in turn help us to understand how this affects their health, survival and the pollination they provide. 

The ESI and AONB are currently working with 5 farms across Cornwall, as part of a pilot project so we can do some real-time testing of the model on agricultural holdings. By using the model directly with farm owners and land managers we expect to be able to offer them tailor-made management recommendations to increase pollinators and pollination on any site.

Agricultural land in the AONB covers 73% of the total land area of the protected landscape. With that in mind, working on a project such as this in its infancy could, in the long term, help us understand so much more about our bee communities; what they need, and how they can continue to help us all.

6000 Flowers

Our project brief for the Creative Exchange Programme has been inspired by the fact that a bumblebee queen will visit up to 6000 flowers per day to collect enough nectar and pollen to establish her colony in the spring. However, at this time of year there can be a shortfall in the availability of high quality flowers across agricultural landscapes. The Farms for AONBees project is helping farmers to understand the needs of bees better and provide them with more forage and at the times they most need it. Our overriding aim is to make a significant difference to the quality of our Cornish landscapes for conservation and food production.

Through 6000 Flowers we want to bring this research into contact with art, to aid our understanding of broader perceptions and interpretations of this ground-breaking work. The Farms for AONBees project is important as it seeks to sustain and grow our essential bee populations. We want to ensure that a wide audience can access this information, and be drawn into its dynamism.  A grant has been made available to the Farms for AONBees project through the ESI’s Creative Exchange programme and the AONB to invite and fund an artist to respond to the project and its implications.

The Creative Exchange programme is a joint initiative between the ESI and Falmouth University’s Research in Art, Nature and the Environment. The programme aims to facilitate collaboration between creative practitioners and ESI researchers who share an interest in issues of environment and sustainability.

Please note - given there is a very short production time for this project, we are looking for well-considered proposals that are able to move forward with immediate effect to meet the project timeline.


Artist Fee - £350

Materials, Travel and Research Costs - £500

Mentoring - A ½ day session with an experienced artist to support artist development

The Farms for AONBees project team will be available to meet with the artist to help them learn more about the project and they will be able to accompany them to a farm involved with the pilot study to support artist research.


Shortlisted artists notified: 16th February 2017

Interviews (and selected artist notified): 17th February 2017

Project start date: 20th February 2017

Exhibition date: 20th March 2017

Exhibition close and project end date: 12th May 2017


The outcome of the selected artist’s project will be exhibited at The Creative Exchange, ESI, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE.

The exhibition space is a secure multi-purpose space on the ground floor of the ESI building. It is located adjacent to a large foyer and sit-down area, which is busy with students, lecturers and visitors.

It has some natural lighting as well as overhead artificial lighting. There are multiple power sockets along the bottom the walls, a wall hung TV monitor and a small kitchen area. There are mounting boards fixed to the top half of the walls where artwork can be hung.

A private view will be organised to launch 6000 Flowers, with all associated press and publicity co-ordinated by the ESI and AONB (details to be confirmed).

AONB Annual Conference at Goonhilly Earth Station – 20th May 2017

The selected artist will have the opportunity to present a taster of their project at our annual conference. This will be discussed further with the selected artist on the commencement of the project.


Image credit: The Eden Project