Megan Powell

After the Bees

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.’

Responding to this unsettling quote attributed to Albert Einstein, After the Bees presents a series of visual artworks exploring a poignant narrative of loss.

Artist, photographer and filmmaker Megan Powell creates a unique form of storytelling that speaks of the beauty and appeal of Manchester’s beloved emblem, the bee, and the haunting consequences of an imagined world bereft of pollinators.

Photographing and filming urban honeybee hives across Manchester, After the Bees draws upon the coupled histories of beekeeping and photography. Through interviews conducted with academics, ecologists and specialists, the artworks delve in to and dissect the language of the hive. The exhibition features highly detailed, magnified images of specimens from the artist’s collection, captured using Electron Microscopes at the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, University of Manchester. Close-up shots of taxidermy birds from Manchester Museum’s collections suggest the repercussions of environmental change impacting across species. Through digital and film photography, the artworks encapsulate the poetic science and myth-making that surrounds our relationship to bees. Here, still life, portraiture, moving image and ornamental pattern press against one another to reveal a world both familiar and unknown.

After the Bees will culminate with a surrealist documentary film in March 2017.

After the Bees is supported by Manchester Museum and Arts Council England 2016

Ornamental Structure (Composite)

Electron Microscopy Untitled 1

Electron Microscopy Untitled 2

Electron Microscopy Untitled 3

Electron Microscopy Untitled 4

Electron Microscopy Untitled 5

Electron Microscopy Untitled 6

Electron Microscopy (Composite) Untitled 7

The Hive and the Body, The Body and the Hive Untitled 1

The Hive and the Body, The Body and the Hive Untitled 2

The Hive and the Body, The Body and the Hive Untitled 3

The Hive and the Body, The Body and the Hive Untitled 4

The Hive and the Body, The Body and the Hive Untitled 5

Crow and Raven Portraits Untitled 1

Crow and Raven Portraits Untitled 2