Breaking Borders for 'We are commoners' Touring exhibition with Craftspace

My contribution to the We are Commoners exhibition is a piece called “Breaking Borders” I wanted to look at shared places, systems and ideas that that have brought people together through the charity ‘Bees and Refugees, project set up by Ali Alzein. The charity “helps with the vitally important task of protecting honeybees and other pollinating insects, as well as helping refugees who may be struggling to adjust to their new lives.” Ali fled his home and life in Damascus, Syria. He talked about the importance ‘Freedom of movement’ and ‘breaking borders’ for many refugees and himself.

I have taken the form of the structure of honeycombs within a bee hive.


The organized structure has been displaced, recreating the shape of the landmass Syria, the Middle East and Africa, where the volunteer Refugees used to live. Consciously evading describing these forms with a ‘border’, the suspended elements of this piece have a fluidity in their movement. This structure supports enamelled panels with Ali’s and his Grandpa’s handwriting and information about the bees they are working with. The piece invites the viewer to consider the it, simply for its geometric form or to should they wish they could look further to reflect on Ali’s journey to the UK, and his experience as a refugee, the hopes and aspirations of the group and the amazing bees that bring everyone together.