Monday 11 January 2016

Creator behind World Expo's highest design accolade to speak at guest lecture

Photo credit: Gavin Mallalue
(l-r) Wolfgang Buttress and Dr Martin Bencsik

Photo credit: Barney Melton
Wolfgang Buttress

The artist behind the UK's contribution to the prestigious World Expo in Milan is to give a guest lecture at Nottingham Trent University on January 26. Wolfgang Buttress, a fine art alumnus of the university, will share his inspiration for the work, which won the overall gold award for architecture and landscape at the international exhibition. 

Wolfgang will talk about the design of The Hive, the centrepiece for the UK Pavilion at the six-month Expo, which ended in October. The striking creation, which also drew on honeybee research carried out by Nottingham Trent University physicist Dr Martin Bencsik, won numerous awards, including the organising committee's highest design accolade.

The core theme of the Expo was Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life and The Hive – a 14m sculptural, honeycomb inspired lattice, made of 32 layers and 169,000 aluminium components – was designed to highlight the importance of pollination in the food-chain. 

Dr Bencsik uses accelerometers – devices sensitive to minute vibrations – to detect and translate vibrations caused by bees during their activities and as they communicate with one another.

The lighting and soundscapes within The Hive were directly inspired by his research and pulsated in response to live-streamed signals from the bee colony at Nottingham Trent University. Dr Bencsik will demonstrate the difference between live sound and live vibrations with a musician as part of the lecture.

The guest lecture takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 26 January and is open to members of the public. Admission is free but booking is essential. Book your place.

Notes to editors:

The UK was one of 140 participating nations at this year’s World Expo which ran between 1 May and 31 October. During the six-month exhibition, the Pavilion welcomed 3.3 million visitors.  For more information visit the Milan Expo website, the Milan Expo pages on or Twitter @ukpavilion2015

Wolfgang Buttress is an award winning artist working with public and private space. He creates simple, elegant and contextual artworks, which seek to define and celebrate a sense of place and the sublime. His work alludes to histories, traces and memories that are both personal and contextual. He was born in 1965 and studied BA (Hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University in 1987. His practice has evolved over the past thirty years and has exhibited and created artworks in the UK and internationally. For more visit Wolfgang's website.

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