Week 13- Worker Bees of Manchester

On the 22nd of May, my hometown in England was subject to a terrorist attack, however this wasn’t the only terrorist attack Manchester have experienced. During this time, it hit a little too close to home, due to knowing many people who were in the area at the time of the horrific event.

After then working on my idea of the reanimation of dead objects, I became so sickened and upset over what had happened that I decided to take a dramatic move and change project ideas, instead focusing on the 22 people who lost there lives in this traumatic event as well as 119 critically injured.

Over the period of the bombing’s, Manchester came together and used the Mancunian Worker Bee , that has been around since the industrial revolution as a symbol that we (Mancunians) won’t give up and will come together even in great times of need.

Many tributes and respects were paid to the people who lost there lives during this terrorist attack, although I would like to contribute to respecting those that lost there lives while also displaying the determination and love of Manchester.

For my final installation I have decided that I will overlay and edit the sound of worker bees as well as counting out loud the umber of people (22) who lost there lives. The worker bees are a symbol of the spirit of Manchester and its location above has been created to make the audience feel immersed. I wanted to focus very closely on the volume elements as well as the layering of the sound to create a audio piece that pays respect to the 22 People who lost there lives as well as the fierce spirit of Manchester.

The audio piece will come from over head in a blackbox room as well as having a projector shining down and creating a white light circle as a marker for people to stand. A video of a bee has also been added into the circle using Premiere Pro as well as creating a masking tool in order to create the Spot light effect. I believe this will create a space that is completely immersive as well as people being able to listen distinctly to the audio that i have overlaid together.

Although this is a massive risk, I have created a tribute piece that is extremely dear to my heart as well as something I am extremely passionate about. Although my research from previous weeks, have focused on the reanimation go the dead. I didn’t want to touch that after this particular event.

I researched a lot of different sound installations including:

  • I liked ‘Sound forest’ by Minori Nagashima , because it focuses not only on the sound but how people interacted with the space and manipulated the sound- This is partly one of the reasons that I am projecting a circe and having the audio come from overhead, in order to create a spacial dynamic thats completely immersive.
  • This particular installation, really drew on the idea of worker bees, constantly being in the background of the audio piece I have created. Mischers ‘Curiousity cloud’ really works to draw in the importance of having multiple sounds but creating one message- which is one of the main obstacles I had to overcome in this final installation.
  • This installation created by Marie Sester also depicts why i have chosen to use a projector to cast a stark white circle onto the floor for people to stand in. I believe this, much like the video creates an immersive feeling because you are side the circle and you are experiencing the sounds that are being played above. I believe this is really important because I’m really trying to make people feel the spirit of manchester and pay respect to the 22 people who died during this horrific event. Its telling a story that I want people to be a part of.



I believe that the most influential week for me was Week 7 “Your uncertain shadows”, when we looked at remaking an artists installation. It was extremely valuable to understand the need for interaction and when interaction isn’t needed because simplicity prevails. Its the perceptions of others in which the art becomes valuable. Instead of trying to overdo the layering of the colours within the installation, we replicated what was already amazing and added to the concept tastefully.

Similarly to the the simplicity of having bees and voice over instead of a collection of audio. To keep it simple and really engage the audience into remembering each individual who lost there lives.

I have used the video of the bee spotlight to mirror the audio of the worker bees, that the spirit of manchester is always there. That mancunians will always stick together, to capture the significance of a spirit that creates a knock on effect around the world. The audio is extremely symbolic within this piece, the audio focuses on the 22 people that lost their lives within the manchester bombing. There aren’t just a number, they aren’t just 22 people. They are people within the mancunian community who have lost there lives, a  hole which can never be filled. Its the significance of these 22 people, that brought manchester and all those around the world together, to focus on the love for those around us and look at the threat of terrorism.

The audio is positioned above to again establish the idea of these emerging presence that is all around us. For me it is a powerful and person statement that shows how proud I am to be mancunian. I wanted to simplify my installation to give ample respect to those who lost there lives while also create the feeling of a forever working and growing spirit.

This installation has given me the ability to learn on Premiere Pro while also thinking about exploring a very complex and traumatic event simplistically, and trying to create something which gives respect to those who died while presenting the ever present Spirit of Manchester.


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