Event: Minus Pollinators at Groundswell, 22&23 June 2022

The Minus Pollinators project, created in collaboration with artist Freddie Yauner and commissioned by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, proposes a dystopian future when we’ve experienced catastrophic insect pollinator decline. The project manifests as a mobile drinks kiosk where all of the familiar items that require pollinators have been crossed off, including coffee, most teas, chocolate, fruit juices etc.

The kiosk, which acts as an exhibition display for facts and figures related to pollinators, is featuring at the Groundswell Regenerative Agriculture Show and Conference on 22nd and 23rd June 2022, the most significant gathering of its kind in the UK. The Wild Bee Café kiosk is located in the Big Top tent, alongside the stage that hosts talks and debates by Secretary of State George Eustice, Head of National Farmers Union Minette Batters, and the National Food Strategy author Henry Dimbleby. Yes, we will be bugging them!

Come along and see us! Myself and Freddie will be there to welcome you.

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Installation: Minus Pollinators at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

In early 2022, artist Freddie Yauner and I came together for a meeting of minds, discussing our shared interests in food and farming and its many beautiful and ugly faces. Freddie casually shared the seeds of an idea, whereby he had taken a classic café drinks menu and crossed out all of the items that require insect pollinators to exist. The idea lingered in my mind with the shocking truth that about 90% of drinks were unavailable, an unimaginable scenario.

Shortly after, we were both independently approached by Karishma Rafferty, curator of the Food Forever summer festival at Kew Gardens, to propose ideas for the festival’s programme which is focussed on the subject of food security. Freddie and I decided to collaborate and further develop the café menu idea, whereby we would position a dystopian future in the form of a drinks kiosk where the staples such as coffee, teas, juices, chocolate etc are no longer available. All of our facts were verified by Prof. Jeff Ollerton, ecological scientist and author and Prof. Phil Stevenson, Head of Biological Chemistry at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The mobile drinks kiosk acts as an exhibition display, with artworks painted in pollen by Freddie and a take-away pamphlet written by me, detailing the importance of insect pollinators for our collective future on this planet.

For the full experience, visit the Food Forever Corner on the weekends of 21&22 May, 11&12 June and 18&19 June 2022.

Food Forever website