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After The Bees

Manchester Museum’s Latest Exhibition Explores the Consequences of a World Without Bees

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.’ Responding to these unsettling words attributed to Albert Einstein, the latest exhibition at Manchester Museum (part of the University of Manchester) After the Bees, presents a series of artworks exploring a poignant narrative of loss.

Artist, photographer and filmmaker Megan Powell creates a unique form of storytelling that speaks of the beauty and appeal of Manchester’s beloved emblem, the bee, and the haunting consequences of an imagined world bereft of pollinators. Photographing and filming urban honeybee hives across Manchester, After the Beesdraws upon the coupled histories of beekeeping and photography. Through interviews with academics, ecologists and specialists, the artworks delve into and dissect the language of the hive.

The exhibition features highly detailed, magnified images of specimens from the artist’s collection, captured using electron microscopes at The University of Manchester’s School of Materials. Close-up shots of taxidermy birds from Manchester Museum’s collections suggest the repercussions of environmental change across species.

After the Bees coincides with our current temporary exhibition Extinction or Survival, and explores related themes around the impact of humans on the natural environment.

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