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Work of the Week | 25 July 2022

CAG.3076 Anne Kiely & Mary Palmer, Who Will Tell the Bees?, 2018, art quilt (textiles and mixed media), 125 x 250 cm. Purchased, the Artists, 2021. © the artists.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Who Will Tell the Bees? (2018) is an art quilt by Anne Kiely and Mary Palmer that addresses key environmental concerns, as well as the histories of women’s work.

The title is derived from the tradition of beekeepers informing their bees of any news in the household. Marriages, births, and especially deaths were marked by decorating the hive and telling the bees what has happened.

The death of a beekeeper required the new beekeeper to introduce themselves formally to the bees and to ask for their acceptance. It was said that not doing so would encourage the bees to desert the hive, stop producing honey, or even die.

Made specifically for our exhibition EARTH, WIND & FIRE: Made in Cork Contemporary (2018-19), Who Will Tell the Bees? can be seen as a continuation of the history of textiles within the Cork School of Art context.

Anne Kiely is a textile artist based in Cork who also works as an artist-facilitator for community and education projects. Training and working in fashion led her to screen-printing bespoke fabrics: she digitally combines hand screen-printed images, etchings, and manipulated photographic images to produce layered designs that echo characteristics of the handmade.

Mary Palmer has been involved in the quilting scene in Cork for over 25 years. In 2006, she formed Marimu Designs as a spin-off from a successful textile arts supply business, has worked with the Irish Patchwork Society, and is a founder of the cross-border initiative, Quilters Guild of Ireland, as well as the contemporary textile art group Cork Textiles Network.

Who Will Tell the Bees? (2018) by Anne Kiely and Mary Palmer is featured in MEAT & POTATOES until 6 November.

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