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This summer we’ve partnered with the charity Bee Friendly Trust to raise awareness of the importance of protecting urban bees. We’ve even got a colony of our own up on the rooftops at The Yards, so it’s a cause close to our hearts.

In order to celebrate these hard-working pollinators, we’ve enlisted the help of four amazing artists to create a trail of bold bee-inspired installations.

3D illustrator Thomas Burden created one of these installations for The Yards & The Bees, we caught up with him to find out more about his influences and inspirations.

Thomas Burden
Thomas Burden
Thomas Burden Thomas Burden

An illustrator with a difference

Thomas Burden is an illustrator specialising in innovative 3D art. He often describes his style as memories of all the toys I was never allowed as a child’. 

He has a magical knack of being able to take normal, everyday objects and transform them into wonderful explosions of colour with a Willy Wonka-esque style.

He’s certainly a fan of creating weird and whimsical contraptions, taking our brief of ‘Urban Bees’ and turning it on its head in the best way.

Thomas Burden 3D render
Thomas Burden 3D render

‘A Hive for Tomorrow’

The concept of Thomas’s piece for The Yards & The Bees came from imagining the intricate inner workings of a bustling beehive. He was inspired by beehives and their similarity to busy factory buildings.

I’ve imagined an automated beehive designed to take make honey production easier on the bees. Thus, allowing them more time to spend on their true passions in life like pollinatinggolf, joining tiny sea shanty choirs… or even Instagram side hustles!” 

Thomas’s artistic process lives in the digital world, creating intricate 3D renders straight from his imagination. We brought his digital vision to life at The Yards for you to experience in the real world.

Mercer Street
Mercer Street

Experience it for yourself

The finished artwork is an immersive, interactive experience. Get close enough to Thomas’s installation and you’ll trigger the ‘honey production line’ with a simple wave of your hand.

If you’re heading to The Yards for a day of shopping, take a stroll underneath our rainbow walkway and enjoy this unique artwork. Take a seat on Dalla Terra‘s extended terrace to have a drink and enjoy the best view!

‘A Hive for Tomorrow’ is situated between Mercer Walk and St. Martin’s Courtyard at the Mercer Street entrance to The Yards.

Read more of our Meet the Maker series here – we also caught up with artists Abbey Lossing, Charlie Davis and Helen Musselwhite.

Have you visited The Yards & The Bees yet?

Come down to The Yards now to discover our bee-inspired installations, explore the shops and enjoy our restaurants with extra al fresco seating to see the artwork from. Don’t forget to share all your photos with us – use #TheYardsAndTheBees to show us all your snaps!

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for more information on a series of bee-inspired workshops, coming to The Yards later this summer. All proceeds will go towards Bee Friendly Trust.

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