beeflowers@gmail.com
Bernard (Bee) Flowers is a London based artist.
 
A growing sense of cultural dislocation led him to leave his native Holland, taking up residence in Moscow, where he remained for many years. This, and other changes of environment, made him acutely aware of inter-cultural continuities and disjunctures, as well as the tensions between individual development and cultural conformity.
 
He holds an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London, and his work was chosen for Bloomberg New Contemporaries. 
  
Statement
  
Having been exposed from an early age to different cultural influences, I have long been interested in the intense struggle between the individual self and society.
 
After the horrors of the mid-20th century, to dissolve oneself in the certainties of a collective movement is no longer a respectable option. Obligingly, we question all received wisdom, and go against the grain wherever we find one. We are now to be ourselves, on our own terms.
 
The ideals of our era are in alignment with the worldview of Dostoyevsky’s alienated, axe-wielding Raskolnikov, and indeed we find ourselves just as disorientated. Our heroic project of self-realisation was, however, always doomed. We all strike our own conformist Faustian bargain with society - with "the culture" - material rewards and validation of our actions are bestowed on us in exchange for the submission and abandonment of the self we could have been. Cursed with our large brain, we then agonise over our situation while remaining tethered to a world that just won’t let go. Another neurosis is born.
 
Owing to the structural inertia and sheer tenacity of cultural systems, as well as our own corruptibility, we are part of a social landscape populated with mentally contorted, incongruous creatures, under pressure to conform at once to traditional and newly emergent value systems.
 
My working life began at dairy processing factories in the Russian heartland, where in halls with eternally wet, tiled floors, steamed-up windows and a web of colour-coded pipes connecting arrays of whirring pumps and trembling machinery, I witnessed the transformative power of heat, filtration and centrifugal force. Most crucially, however, I learned of the power of bacterial cultures to silently transform substances, like the spreading of an idea can change a human being into someone else.
  
 
Education

MA Fine Art - Royal College of Art, London


Exhibitions, selected

Solo

2014 - 'Dreamers of the Absolute' - Sylph Editions Gallery, London

2009 - 'Jetztzeit' - M'ARS Gallery, Moscow

2007 - 'Liberation!' - Moscow MoMA / 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

2006 - 'Megastructure' - Shusev National Museum of Architecture, Moscow

2006 - 'Grand Illusions' - Yaroslavl State Art Museum


Group

 
 
2015 - 'RCA Secret' - Art Dubai, UAE & RCA, London
 
2015 - 'Bloomberg New Contemporaries' – Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall
 
2015 - 'BFAMI' - Phillips Auctioneers, London

2014 - 'Bloomberg New Contemporaries' – ICA, London

2014 - 'Encounter' - Broadway House, London

2013 - 'Multiplied' - Christie's, London

2013 - 'Recent Graduates' - AAF Battersea, London

2013 - Canary Wharf Gallery, London

2013 - 'Passion for Freedom' - Embassy Tea Gallery, London

2013 - 'Maps of the Present Past' - TIL Gallery, London

2013 - 'SHOW RCA' - Royal College of Art, London

2013 - 'Parallax' - CGP Gallery, London

2012 - 'I Took the Lift to the 6th Floor' - CGP Gallery, London

2011 - 'RCA Secret' - RCA, London

2011 - Assembling Reality (Rejlander) - Garazh Contemporary Art Center, Moscow

2011 - 'Seeing Sound' - National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow

2011 - 'Sleeping Area - Open Lesson' - National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow

2010 - 'Shelter' - Gallery E.K. Artburo, Moscow

2010 - 'Alla Gloria Militar' - Aircraft Gallery, Bratislava

2009 - Darwin Museum, Moscow

2009 - Pingyao Intl Photography Festival, China

2009 - 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, special project

2007 - 'Angelarium Novus' - Moscow MoMA