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Toni Childs’ Bee Friendly Installation

International Recording Artist Toni Childs invites the Katherine Community to experience her 8.5-meter bee installation called, Bee Friendly. Open for viewing to the public on Wednesday May 19th for one night only from 5pm-7pm at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre.

Bee Friendly Installation

Open for viewing to the public on Wednesday May 19th for one night only from 5pm-7pm at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre. 

International Recording Artist Toni Childs invites the Katherine Community to experience her 8.5-meter bee installation called, Bee Friendly. Toni has been working on the design with Sydney based Architects, Archisoul to design a bee you can walk inside. 

The Bee featured this Wednesday evening is the prototype for 30 – 8.5M Bees that will be installed in Regional Australian towns at the end of 2022, launching three months of bee centric activities while 300,000 silkworms weave the skin of 30 bees. 

Archisoul Architects: Jo Gillies, Founder and Lead Architect, and Harrison Dumesich who worked closely with Toni on the design will arrive to help construct the massive bee and celebrate with Toni this milestone in their design and execution process.

Toni’s ambitious Bee Friendly installation is the first of two installation components from her new show It’s All a Beautiful Noise.

“My new show is playful and engaging. It provides four months of audience engagement – Before, During and After the Show.”

– Toni Childs

Toni reports, “I have a new show called, It’s All a Beautiful Noise (IAABN). IAABN is two hours of my music, off-the-hook 3D mapping animation, live action footage, storytelling and a lot of high-tech audience engagement that will tour into 30 regional towns as well as cities. 

I hope to begin touring my new show the start of 2023 – of course that is covid dependent. “

Watching how bee populations around the world have been disappearing, and learning that their immune systems are compromised by chemicals and lack of foraging, I was inspired to create a groundswell of support for our pollinators, and the local beekeepers – who are the real rockstars on the planet by creating ‘spectacle community experiences’ to start a conversation: 

  • What does a bee friendly community look like?
  • What does a bee friendly household look like?
  • What does a bee friendly farm look like?
  • What are the things our town can do to make it Bee Friendly?

This is what you can expect before, during and after my new show:

Before     

30 – 8.5 meter ‘Bee Friendly’ Installations go up across Australia into 30 regional towns. ‘Bee Friendly’ is an 8.5 meter bee you can walk inside and an estimated 9500 silkworms weave the skin of the bee. See attached images. 

Three months before the show comes to town we install our ‘Bee Friendly’ installation, and launch The BIG IDEA Project. The BIG IDEA Project offers a community-wide conversation about steps we can take to help pollinator species. It features: lectures, documentaries, plantings with seed- paper-making workshops, cooking classes and backyard beekeeping workshop, etc. Included is curated Art – How the bee is expressed for contemporary and indigenous artists working across the disciplines. (Take a look at a Ketchum Idaho Gallery’s Big Idea Project Calendar attached)

During    

Show night, each audience member is given one of six paper masks of pollinators. Each mask has an addressable LED light that I control from the stage. At the end of the show I ask audience members to look at the underside of their mask, and I invite them to go on a treasure hunt online by linking to the QR Code or to the website listed.

When audience members walk out into the lobby after the show they will be greeted by local beekeepers, giving Beekeepers the opportunity to engage and share their ideas for bee friendly farmers and a bee friendly world.

After 

At the end of the show I invite people to go on a treasure hunt online as the end of the treasure hunt each audience member will be asked to send their mask to a physical location, where all the masks in Australia will be put into one giant installation – making a big beautiful noise for our pollinators and giving audience members an opportunity to participate in a national community art project.

Personally, I would like to make the bee a protected species. If we protect the bee we protect all the pollinators and we protect ourselves. 

In 2018, I created a ‘Year of the Bee’ Beekeepers Survey with Laree Thorsby, and then Secretary of Brisbane Beekeepers Association –  Elise Whittaker, daughter of biosecurity officer and former president of Brisbane Beekeepers Association and author of ‘The Bee Book’ Peter Warhurst. Our aim was to bring backyard beekeepers and commercial beekeepers together to start a Big Bee Friendly Conversation. 

In 2019 my touring company, Big Mother Touring Company Pty Ltd, launched itself as a presenter for the first time with a very successful Toni Childs Retrospective Tour – celebrating the 30 year anniversary of my seminal album ‘Union’ at 57 theatres across regional Australia. 

Laree and I hosted beekeeper breakfasts in almost every regional town on the tour – inviting beekeepers to participate in conversations with each other, and to complete the survey. I photographed and interviewed them to find out their thoughts on the state of the bee in Australia, with the possibility of producing a documentary and/or photo book. 

I wanted to let Beekeepers know about my up-coming show and the tsunami of goodwill for the bee that will be generated so they can explore the best way to utilise the exposure collectively.

“We are all Pollinators! What we buy we Grow!”

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