Visitors are swarming to see a colourful bee sculpture designed by a Wigan artist for a major city centre art project.
Christian Taylor, who grew up in Standish, was selected to design the LGBTQ+ queen bee for the Bee In The City trail, which launched in Manchester on Monday.
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There are more than 100 massive worker bees, covered in many different colours and designs, which will be on display for the next two months.
Christian, 35, said: “They decided to set up a separate part of it which was community bees to allow different communities in Greater Manchester to get involved. There’s Girl Guiding, for example, and one in Didsbury.
“They have been paid for by different businesses in the community but with this LGBT bee it was set up by crowdfunding.”
Carl Austin-Behan, the first openly gay Lord Mayor of Manchester in 2016-17, set up the appeal which raised £7,500.
Artists were then asked to submit designs for the bee and Christian’s was chosen.
He said: “It was amazing. You don’t expect these things. I have only been doing art for three years.”
He got to work creating the bee with Ben Sedman Photography, AT Designs and his sister Claire Taylor, from Shevington, who has a business up-cycling furniture.
The bee was designed around the rainbow flag and features photographs on the wings, messages of equality and inclusion, and flags from each part of the LGBTQ+ community.
More than 200 hours of manpower was put into making the bee.
Christian, who now lives in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, saw the bee being installed at Sackville Gardens, in the city’s Gay Village, on Sunday evening in time for the start of Bee In The City.
Photographs of his bee have been posted on social media, including by a well-known drag queen from TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The former St Peter’s Catholic High School pupil said: “I feel honoured to be a part of it, because there are so many unbelievably talented artists and to be a part of such a big project is amazing.”
While many of the bees in the trail will be sold at auction to raise money for charity, Christian’s bee will be a permanent feature.
Bee In The City runs until Sunday, September 23.