Hoe St 29/8/2012
A recent field trip into a Walthamstow night resulted in a pretty dismal attempt at bio dynamic photography (or 'snapography') on the part of, Field Study's Man in E17. Perhaps it was an inappropriate choice of a 'field preparation' that caused the failure to enhance the rays of the moon in the cultivation of this image. He returned in a few days to snap at the Hoe St Co-op building by the light of the sun albeit a tad filtered by the clouds.
Hoe St 1/9/2012
Field Study's Man in E17 has for some time taken a superficial interest in this building on Hoe St due to the presence of the Co-operative Society beehive emblems. Many Co-op buildings around the UK and further afield feature variations of this emblem, usually in relief sculptural form. He has thought about making an art project based on these sites because ideas associated with bees and beekeeping fascinate him, although he is sometimes more in thrall to the idea of doing something rather than actually doing it.
The buildings on Hoe St have recently undergone some maintenance and other improvements including the removal of tv aerials. Below are some pictures taken in 2011 during those works. He wondered if the building is listed and went on line to London Borough of Waltham Forest listed buildings site to check - the building was not listed in 2008, currently the most up to date listing for Waltham Forest as provided by the council web site.
Hoe St 2011
The snaps taken this August/September 2012 do not do justice to the renovation and restoration work done on the sculptures.
Below are some more detailed images taken in 2008 when the the progress of time, pollution and the elements had taken less of a toll on the co-operative skeps.
There are plaques on the building facade which give some information about the origins, ethos and development of the building....
It is likely the committee members approved the ornamentation of the building based on the firm belief the hive/skep emblem symbolised hard work and industry for and by the collective good - a symbol sanctifying virtuous industry. The symbol has been appropriated in many ways that may have undermined the veracity of this belief.
Ironically the traditional use of skeps as beehives was not necessarily good news for the bees - involving as it did some drastic measures in the harvesting of the honey.
The Co-op of today is supporting and developing more sympathetic ways of keeping bees, through Plan Bee - a well established campaign to accompany the more recent Friends of the Earth, Bee Cause. Into this environmentalist cavalcade of concern and action for pollinators is a place for Sarah Raven, who showed how local authorities can develop bee or pollinator friendly habitats - a link to the BBC programmes about the endeavours is here.
Meanwhile Field Study's Man in E17, having watched, Queen of the Sun, is considering with some urgency what sort of moustache he must grow in order to be more at one with the bees.