On Saturday, April 15th, an exciting public art launch took place at St. Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns.

A gloriously sunny day for the launch of the ‘bee hives’ in the Cathedral graveyard added to the excitement of the occasion.  It was a day of celebration where art, music, bees and community were aligned.   The idea behind the project was to create a legacy project under the *Ancient Connections programme which would be on permanent display in both Ferns in Wexford and St. Davids in Pembrokeshire.  The giant bee hives are made of red Canadian cedar and have the most beautiful amber like luster to them. But what sets this project apart is the fact that it will be a living sculpture where real live bees will live and produce local honey, tended to by local beekeepers. The giant bee hives are made of red Canadian cedar and have the most beautiful amber like luster to them.

Artist Bedwyr Williams beside one of the giant bee hive sculptures

Bedwyr Williams, the artist who created the sculptures entitled ‘Do The Little Things’, spoke of his reaction to seeing them in their final setting.  “They were designed using a simple 3d computer programme.  I made them as models and had photographs of Ferns but hadn’t been to Ferns at that stage. “The exciting thing in seeing them in situ, even though I know this little corner of the church yard, I know how these will fit, how they will sit , its not the same as actually being here.  The other day when we were installing them , seeing them being put into place, that’s a really exciting moment, that moment and the moment you have the idea initially are the two exciting moments.  And then also, I obviously live in Wales, I’m not going to see them very often in the future but knowing that something you’ve made exists somewhere else is really nice”.

“What I love about them is I wanted to have them  almost to have a cartoonish form, so they’re not like Disney forms but they’re simplified versions of skeps and because of their size,you can see them from the bus stop outside St. Edan’s and I like that in this ancient context, you’re able to see something that is other, it’s not really meant to be there but it kind of is as well.  They kind of stand out but they don’t stand out like sore thumbs and I think that is what public art is about.  Sometimes its right for something to stick out and scream what it’s about but these things, I wanted them to have a much more symbiotic relationship with the surroundings”. 

Music was very much part of the celebration on the day. In the Cathedral we were treated to some beautiful renditions of Irish, English and Welsh songs from singer and composer Melanie O’Reilly, musician David Creevy and the Chord On Blues choir. After the launch Andrew Kelly and his brother John entertained us with some lively songs with the giant bee hives as a backdrop.

The bee hives played a starring role and were willingly given prime position by local beekeeper Joe Kelly and his grandchildren.

*Ancient Connections is an EU funded project – its aim is to revive the ancient links between Ferns in Wexford and St. Davids in Pembrokeshire.  The project was inspired by the mentoring relationship between St. Aidan of Ferns and St. David of Wales.