Tania Kovats’ environmentally-driven HIVE begins its life

26 May 2021
Tania Kovats, HIVE, 2021. Photographer: Jo Underhill
Tania Kovats, HIVE, 2021. Photographer: Jo Underhill

Consultancy is proud to present its latest public project with Tania Kovats. HIVE is a new artwork commissioned by BioMed Realty to interact with the landscape at Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge. 2021 is Year One for HIVE. The work will grow into its surroundings as its trees and meadow take root and as its visitors, whether bees or school children, research scientists or horticulturalists, watch over and care for it in the years to come.

Kovats was invited to develop this work for the Babraham landscape by a steering group that included representatives from the research communities at the campus, residents from the local parish and grounds and gardens staff on site. Kovats’ work takes in a range of media including drawing, sculpture and installation, with the artist known for a practice that communicates about our relationship with nature and encouraging a sense of collective responsibility for our shared ecology.

HIVE is informed by the work that takes place at Babraham, where hundreds of researchers are developing bioscience enterprises. Kovats spent time at the campus, visiting labs and speaking with staff about their roles. What she found was a commonality of purpose from people working at Babraham, which is reflected in the collective efforts of bee colonies.

From her studio in Devon, Kovats cast more than 250 concrete hexagons that resemble the basalt formations of the Giant’s Causeway, as well as the shapes crafted in beehives. The work is completed by a wildflower meadow and ribbon orchard of fruit trees, all of which work together to attract solitary bees with places to rest and feed throughout the growing season.