Project Buzz

Project Buzz is a creative arts project involving twelve different community groups of children and young people, aiming to bring RAMM’s insect collections to life between summer 2022 and 2023.

The project offers local children and young people the chance to meet and learn from local practicing artists, and enable conversations and connections with the natural world through the museums’ resources, artist interpretations and talks by partners Devon Wildlife Trust. You can view their artwork in the RAMM cafe from now until 28 January 2024.

Butterflies in plastic cases
Butterflies from RAMM’s handling collection

RAMM has an extensive insect collection, which includes butterflies, beetles, bees, moths and other creatures such as stick insects. They are beautiful, fascinating to children and many are becoming increasingly endangered due to habitat loss and pesticides. The museum also has striking handling collections for engagement and learning activities. Biodiversity is a key topic in the UK primary school curriculum, and the threat to animal and plant species is often a topic that children and young people feel very strongly about.

Using RAMM’s insect gallery and handling collections as inspiration, three different artists have been selected to work with different groups of children/young people from the local community to each create an insect ‘swarm’ or art piece. The insect swarm groups include:

•            Bees, wasps and hornets

•            Butterflies and moths

•            Beetles

•            Centipedes and millipedes

•            Dragonflies & damselflies

•            Grasshoppers, cicadas & stick insects

A print of red butterflies and moths on a blue and white background
Print created by Project Buzz young carer’s group

RAMM is also partnering with Double Elephant Print Workshop to run a series of experimental print-making sessions for young people in their studios as part of the project.

The various workshops are enabling young participants the chance to build new skills and self-esteem through supportive, inclusive and relaxed art sessions, whilst learning about insects and how to protect them for future generations. Their artwork has formed part of a collective exhibition in the RAMM Café on now until 28 January 2024. All groups will be invited to a celebration event for the opening of the exhibition.

All workshops include a visit to RAMM’s ‘Fly on the Wall’ insect galleries as a starting point for inspiration and information about their particular insect focus, as well as a look at some of the ‘Finders Keepers’ cases that show extinct species and insects that are currently used for human consumption and products. Some of the sessions are also taking place in different venues across Exeter, including the Positive Lights Project creative space and visits to The Hive in Princesshay shopping centre.

As part of project Buzz, RAMM also visited The Beacon Centre to run insect-inspired family friendly craft activities each Thursday throughout August as part of their free Family Fun Days.

Project Buzz - Primary age children wearing masks made at the Beacon Centre
Project Buzz masks, made at the Beacon Community Centre

Exeter College Dance and Textiles group designed costumes and performed a dance in the museum courtyard inspired by the project on 28th February 2023. You can watch their performance on film in the café as part of the exhibition.

The young community groups involved in Project Buzz are:

  • The Beacon Centre
  • Devon Home Education network
  • 2nd Cranbrook Rainbows & 1st Pinhoe Rainbows
  • 1st Cranbrook Brownies & 1st Broadclyst Brownies
  • 1st Cranbrook Guides, 1st Broadclyst Guides & 12th Exeter Guides
  • Cranbrook Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • Devon Young Carers
  • Balloons – Charity offering support for young people experiencing bereavement
  • Exeter College Dance and Textiles students

Project Buzz artists:

With thanks to our partners:

With thanks to our funder Arts Council England

For more information, contact Maya Herbolzheimer, RAMM Engagement Officer: [email protected]