Less than a week after handing in their final submissions, Bee Anderson travelled to London to work on a large-scale installation celebrating Pride for the Vans store window display. This installation is part of the Vans #togetherasourselves campaign to celebrate Pride 2021. Vans have dedicated seven of their shop windows across the UK and Ireland and chosen seven artists to create designs which show support to the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month.
Bee says of their work; “As a queer person, my identity is a central theme to so much of my work, and I strive for my creative practice to be a space where myself and others can feel seen, included, represented and celebrated for who they are. The main goal of my artistic practice is to create pieces that educate, empower and inform, and I am primarily inspired by Queerness, Feminism, Politics and Social Movements.”
To celebrate Pride Month 2021, Vans has released a new footwear and apparel collection, inspired by the LGBTQ+ community and the spirit of creative self-expression, designed to support a more equal and inclusive society. In addition, Vans have donated $200,000 to four LGBTQ+ organisations from around the world.
Bee’s design will be up for the entirety of Pride month and they have described how this opportunity has cultivated a newly discovered passion for large scale illustration installations, adding yet another dimension to their art.
Working with such a renowned name is not necessarily new for Bee, their graduating collection included a series of illustrations for a collaborative article between Spotify and Refinery29, a collection of painterly explorations of Queerness, Identity and Feminism, and a range of cards celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community for Hallmark.
Bee describes the aim of their art as, “bridging the gap between complex theories and a wide audience. My pieces are often accompanied by a short essay on the matter that particular piece is exploring, with the aim being to make academic writing or difficult topics accessible and easily digestible to an audience that may not have otherwise engaged with them.”
Alongside their university work, Bee has set up their own business and captured the attention of clients such as Spotify, Refinery29, Shania Twain, Vans, Superdrug and STAEDTLER. But despite their evident success Bee maintains a grounded mentality about their work:
“The past year has been traumatic for so many reasons and I can’t expect myself to be constantly inspired and creative. I’ve spent more time experimenting and playing - being creative just for fun rather than purely to meet deadlines and satisfy marking criteria”