The brainwave of visual artist Michael Pinsky, his Pollution Pods were welcomed to Front Quad on 20 October to raise awareness of the impact of air pollution on human health. A carefully curated recipe has been created to emulate the relative presence of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide in each dome. Starting with the clean air of Tautra in Norway, you’ll be taken on a journey through the pollution levels of London, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo.
Following the private launch, the Pollution Pods are open to the public from Saturday 21 October to 5 November and run alongside our bespoke sustainability exhibitions that can be found in Canterbury Quad. The first exhibition demonstrates our own sustainability programme and commitment to making our listed buildings work for future generations. The second exhibition, ‘Balance’, is a travelling photography exhibition that features images from the Sustainable Photographer of the Year Awards and the Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society.
The Pollution Pods and bespoke exhibitions have been launched to emphasise the value of our environment on every aspect of our life, from the way we travel to how we live.
" St John’s is delighted to be supporting the Pollution Pods as part of the ‘Everything is Connected’ programme this autumn. We look forward to welcoming visitors to experience Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods in our front quad and to raising awareness of the impact of air pollution on health. " Professor Dame Sue Black, President
Commenting on the Pollution Pods, Professor Dame Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome DBE OBE FRS, President of St John’s College, said:
'St John’s College is committed to supporting our local community. We are proud to work in partnership with many local organisations, including the Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Preservation Trust, and local primary schools. St John’s is delighted to be supporting the Pollution Pods as part of the ‘Everything is Connected’ programme this autumn. We look forward to welcoming visitors to experience Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods in our front quad and to raising awareness of the impact of air pollution on health.'
John Fulljames, Director of the Cultural Programme at Oxford University and Supernumerary Fellow of St John's, added:
'Through a rich and varied series of conversations and creative events taking place across Oxford, Everything is Connected takes inspiration from the idea that everything is connected in the human and natural world. The Pollution Pods raise important questions about our climate, exploring the ways in which art can change people’s perception of climate. We are delighted to be working with St John’s and the Environmental Sustainability team to bring Michael Pinsky's innovative installation to Oxford'.
Michael Pinsky, the artist behind the Pods, said:
'For many cities, air pollution remains a pressing concern, yet it is only a select few that are taking proactive measures to combat this critical issue, and Oxford stands proudly among them. Transforming transportation habits and advocating against car usage can be a contentious endeavour, but history shows us that courageous cities ultimately reap the rewards, as evidenced by thriving urban centres like Amsterdam and most recently Paris. Through my installation, I aim to draw attention to the significant detrimental effects of air pollution on our health, urging a collective reconsideration of our urban mobility patterns.'
The Pods form part of a wider Oxford University programme and we were delighted to be invited to participate with the exhibition of the Pollution Pods. Supported by Oxford University’s Environmental Sustainability Team, the art installation is part of ‘Everything is Connected’, a series of pop-up events produced by the University’s Cultural Programme that will be hosted across the city. You can find out more by visiting the Cultural Programme’s page.