Kissing the Bees - Film

Emily Hesse (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


KISSING THE BEES (2019) is a 17 minute two channel film installation that brings together the artist's research into witchcraft of the North York Moors, as an early form of matriarchal social organising. Shot on a mobile phone, three performances taking place within stone circles on the moorland offer a meditation on the relationship between a site's (pre)historical use and the residual effect that appears to remain, as if held in stone, in the circle's momentary present day re-occupation. The second film shows the tending of bees, the hive structure remaining the only example of what is referred to in the overlaid spoken narration as the site of the 'round dance,' the coming together of individuals to form an organised unit. The narration itself is part incantation and part unpublished manuscript, Notes on Witchcraft, by co-founder of the Ryedale Folk Museum, Bertram Frank, who along with other local residents of the moorland, founded the museum in 1964 with personal collections of artefacts and stories which had formerly been on display in their garden sheds.

Please note - film version shared here via Youtube link is a low quality version of the final two films in a single frame and not the work as it should be shown correctly.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle-Upon-Tyne
PublisherBxNU Baltic 39
Media of outputFilm
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2019


  • witch
  • witchcraft
  • folklore
  • North of England
  • Women
  • matriarchy
  • Cultural institutions


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