Creating a Buzz: A collaborative eco-art installation

Last month we installed the eco-art installation for pollinator gardens at Oak Meadows. This is a collaboration between the Environmental Youth Alliance, Eric Hamber Secondary and Uproot. From the early conceptualization this project had me so excited and I am thrilled to have taken part in it’s creation. 

The Environmental Youth Alliance works to engage and empower youth to create meaningful, positive action for our community and environmental health. They are a non-profit charity which cultivates transformative nature experiences for youth and children. Operating since 1991, they have been using experiential learning to grow communities and discover inner nature

When I am designing for installations, there are a many considerations that shape and guide the process. Will it be exposed, how long is it anticipated to last, what weather conditions? Who are the users, where will the installation be in relation to them? How will it be made, who is taking part? We ended up with a two sided installation, composed of hexagonal tiles strung between a frame; all from reclaimed material. 

For the hexagons, I started with off-cuts of pine 1x4’s. These are from the construction of theatre stage or other temporary walls. Cutting the material at a 33 degree angle creates these hexagons. 

Over 60 grade 8 students from Eric Hamber Secondary took part in creating pollinator themed art work on these tiles. Coordinating the colours, each piece stood out in their own respect. After being glossed these pieces were ready to be put together.

A photo posted by Uproot (@uprootnow) on

A photo posted by Uproot (@uprootnow) on

A photo posted by Uproot (@uprootnow) on

Installation day we had a few different stations for the students. Clearing the ground for installing the posts, coordinating the overall design of the tiles and stringing the tiles together. The students had a 2.5 hour window to do the installation. We had them apply design thinking, cooperation and coordination to execute this. Piecing it together all together, everyone contributed in the installation process. 

Since then this artwork has toured to other gardens. It is currently located at Oak Meadows.

If you or your organization is interested in an eco-art sustainability workshop, please get in contact with us today.