Bee Yourself (2018-19)

This is a case study of a project we ran before Woolly Mammoth Stitch Works CIC was born. 

This project involved stitching with 1000 different people over 8 months to create an artwork including 902 individually stitched bees. We engaged both males and females, aged from 4 to 90-something, from all sections of society and across the city and surrounding counties.

The Bee Yourself artwork is on display at the Hive Café and Bakery, Vittoria Street. You are welcome to pop in and view the artwork and other heritage exhibitions for free from 7.30am-3.30pm Tuesday to Friday and on the second Saturday of the month.

The Bee Yourself project has been possible thanks to a National Heritage Lottery Fund grant and is part of The Hive’s ongoing public engagement and activity programme..

Gallery of Stitchers

We captured where our stitchers had come from and something of their diversity in an accompanying exhibition. Over 700 people included a hand-written tag with a little bit of their story, including their answer to “If I were a bee, I would fly to…”

What people said...

"We had a lovely time sewing our bees and it was very rewarding to complete both the individual bees and see everyone joining in. Seeing it come together in the overall tapestry was amazing!"

"A great opportunity to help the children learn a new skill and be part of something that helps them to feel involved in their wider community. It was fun and engaging."

“Birmingham is and always has been a city of sanctuary. This project has shown that everyone has a place. I have stitched at workshops with 620 people across the city, and many hundreds more have stitched in their own groups with our tapestry kits. I have seen how one symbol has united children in their own classrooms and brought people together in a different way in their social and work environments. Everyone has been working together and towards the same goal, learning more about each other as they create their bees. As a stitch artist I am also very pleased that hundreds more people can use a needle!”

“The artwork not only looks stunning but also offers a fantastic illustration of how beautiful things can happen when people who are different in so many ways, work together. There is strength in diversity”.

"Love it! Mine is a blue one and I can’t believe it! I like all of them!."