The Nectary by Alison Smith & Dr Chris Hassall

A multi-sensory and immersive light artwork, The Nectary invites guests to step inside a giant flower to gain a unique perspective on nature. Created as a collaborative project between artist Alison Smith and Dr. Chris Hassall, lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds, the installation is an art/science crossover highlighting the importance of pollinating insects. The inspiration for the piece came from the work of Phd student Thomas Daily at the University of Leeds looking into bio-acoustics as a new way of monitoring insect populations by listening to them.

Alison Smith, said:

“The name comes from the part of the flower that produces the nectar, which Dr. Hassall and I wanted to highlight for its connotations around the richness of nature. We love the idea that this work will touch people in many different ways, as we all connect with nature on an individual level. For families with small children, the giant flowers are an eye-catching and whimsical sight that brings joy to those young and young at heart. For some, we hope the message of protecting nature and spending more time listening to it can help to enhance our understanding of the delicate ecosystems we are part of. For others, The Nectary simply offers visitors a moment of calm as they step into a uniquely enclosed space during what will inevitably be a busy festival. We also love that the installation features a summery soundscape providing a juxtaposition of the sounds of wind, birds and pollinators in the setting of a winter light festival.”