Mum’s art to bee in famous flower show

Click or flick across for more photos of the sculpture.

A RUSTY wheel rim, stashed with cuts of timber, has given an Albury mother the chance to be part of the world’s most famous garden event.

The pieces form a sculpture, designed to attract native bees, which will appear in the Australian exhibit at next week’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Joanne Diver is thrilled her work, Life Bee Inn It, will be seen by thousands of visitors experiencing the garden curated by top Australian designer Phillip Johnson.

“It is an enormous privilege to be part of the Australian garden,” Mrs Diver said from London.

“Phillip Johnson is renowned around the world as an extremely talented designer, as are all of the people on his team.

“The garden is enormous in its scale and vision, promoting sustainability and water management to what will be a worldwide audience.”

Mrs Diver said the wheel rim had come from a pile of junk, with timber pieces including driftwood found at Lake Hume, a red gum slab left by sleeper-cutters and a burnt gum tree added to it.

“It reflects the colours and elements of the Australian landscape, fire, flood and drought,” Mrs Diver said.

“It was a collaborative effort with friends and family supplying bits and pieces and Ralph, who describes himself as a bloke in an East Albury shed, helping me with the engineering of a stand for the show.”

Mrs Diver met Mr Johnson during a Melbourne garden tour and after discussing his Chelsea exhibit she was invited to contribute her sculpture, but only learnt this week it would definitely be part of the garden.

“I’d die happy if this was the only thing I did,” Mrs Diver said when asked about the impact of her work being at Chelsea.

“I’m basically a mum in the backyard with a part-time job and artistic interests when time allows.

“My interest in the environment and conservation and promoting the backyard as a place of productivity, biodiversity and creativity will continue in whatever I do, whether it be artistic or paid employment.

“I’m hoping that more people will see insects as a thing of wonder, rather than an opportunity to bring out the Mortein.

“We have so many native bees and there is so much research yet to be done, that you just don’t know what part that little insect you’re about to swat plays within our environment.”

The Australian garden will be judged on Monday.

“I think, well I hope that with all of the effort, passion, belief and resources that have been put into the garden by Phillip and the team, that it will win an award,” Mrs Diver said.

“Either way I’m sure visitors will be impressed by the beauty of the recreated Australian landscape, its scale, the attention to detail and also hopefully be inspired by the message of sustainability and water conservation that is demonstrated throughout the garden.”

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