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Art installation built at Harper Adams in preparation for free Future Fest event

The Pollution Pods installation at Harper Adams University

An art installation which will form the centrepiece of a free community festival has been built at Harper Adams University – and is already drawing interest.

The Pollution Pods installation, a creation of artist Michael Pinsky, has been constructed in front of the University’s main building.

The pods are a series of interlinked geodesic domes which replicate the air conditions of a series of environments around the world – a truly immersive experience to show the effects of pollution to visitors.

Harper Adams Chief Global Impact Officer, Ian Rowley, said: “We’re delighted to have the pods on site – this is a real coup for Shropshire.

“This installation has been seen in capital cities around the world, at the UN, at a number of COP Climate Change conferences – and it is now here in Newport for local people of all ages to enjoy.”

During the set-up of the pods last week, Mr Pinsky spoke with TV and Radio broadcaster Swarzy Macaly to explain more about the work – and why its message is as important in the green fields of Newport as anywhere else in the world.

He said: “I think it’s interesting how climate change is impacting farming. When I first did this installation, which is five years ago now, there was very much a feeling climate change was impacting on countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan, and obviously more arid places in the Middle East.

“And then I kind of came up with this idea as a kind of back door to the climate change debate, because what causes air pollution also causes climate change.

“Now we can see, particularly this year, that crops have been really seriously impacted by flooding – and that’s directly due to climate change. So even though we’re right here, , there’s some sheep and it all looks very luscious and there’s grass, and what has climate change got to do with a place like this?

“It’s actually impacting everything from the cities to the countryside.”

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, was among the first to visit the completed installation – which is set to welcome hundreds of people over the next fortnight.

More than 350 pupils from schools across the region will be visiting the pods for a range of educational activities and discover what it’s really like to step into some of the most polluted cities on Earth.

Mr Rowley added: “It was important to us, as a university with specialised interests in food and farming, to be able to talk to young people across the region about some of the challenges we face, how they are driven by all of our actions – and what we can do to mitigate them.”

Once the educational visits are completed, the Pods will then form the centre-piece of the free community engagement Future Fest event on June 22, which runs from noon and 5pm.

Mr Rowley said: “The pods are going to be a huge draw, alongside everything else we’ll be offering – fascinating talks, live entertainment and music, a farmers’ market and street food to name but a few!

“We’ll also have the Future Food stage, presented in association with Harper Adams University and University College Birmingham, where there will be live cooking demonstrations combined with unique insights on everything from English wine to nutritious, prepared meals.

“With a huge thank you to food and farming organisation LEAF, we will also be opening our Future Farm for a special, one-off event linked to their Open Farm Sunday.

“Visitors will get the chance to give themselves a self-guided tour and find out more about our animals, machinery and crops – as well as chat with our Future Farm team!”

The event has been backed by Headline Sponsor Oscar Mayer, meaning there is no entry charge – and shuttle buses will be provided free of charge from Telford and Newport or pre-paid on-site parking for £5 – which will rise to £10 on the day itself.

To find out more, and to register your interest in attending, visit

Source: Shropshire Live



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