Creating a buzz: living artwork for bees will bloom in Cornwall this summer

The Eden Project’s permanent 55-metre-long artwork Pollinator Pavmaker, which explores the vitality of pollinators, will be in full flower later this year.

As the global hum around the decline of pollinating insect populations grows more louder, living artworks exploring the importance of their vital role are being launched across Europe.

A triple threat of habitat destruction, pesticides, as well as the climate crisis, is the main reason for the decline in certain pollinator species like bumblebees and moths.

They are essential for global food security as they pollinate 75% of crop species and 33% of global crop production.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is an artist, designer, and academic. Her reputation has been built on her genre-bending works that probe our complicated relationships with nature, technology, and explore topics such as artificial intelligence, conservation, and biodiversity.

In her latest commission – Pollinator Pathmaker – she has turned her attention to the plight of pollinating insects, with a 55-metre installation on show at Cornish eco-attraction the Eden Project.

“I wanted to make an artwork for pollinators, not about them,” said Ginsberg. “Can the audience of an artwork be more-than-human? What can art do to help the environment?

Concept painting of Pollinator Pathway garden

Artist’s impression of the Pollinator Pathmaker Garden. Image: The Eden Project

“I hope we can create the largest-ever climate-positive artwork together, by planting living artworks for pollinators around the world.”

Ginsberg devised an algorithm to optimise garden design for pollinators, as part of the Garfield Weston Foundation-funded commission. Drawing on a specially curated palette of flora species, Ginsberg’s piece is essentially a digital artwork painted with plants.

Eden Project Living Landscape apprentices were tasked with bedding in 6,000 plants from the world’s temperate regions – all pollinator favourites – for Ginsberg’s piece. The project will see more gardens in the UK and Europe planted by 2022. Berlin’s Light Art SpaceThis spring, join the scheme.


Hands holding a flower

Last autumn, apprentices were able to get their hands dirty while planting the garden. Image: The Eden Project

To help spread the buzz, Ginsberg has made her algorithm available on a website – – which allows audiences to create and share their own garden designs. People can download planting instructions to help bring their virtual creations into the real world.

Pollinator Pathmaker should be in bloom by June and is part of the Eden Project’s three-year Create a Buzz programme, comprising wildflower meadows, research projects and a trail around Eden’s gardens.

Main image: Steve Tanner, courtesy the Eden Project.