We were approached by Einstein’s Garden at The Green Man Festival to collaborate with the Met Office. It was a fantastic opportunity to use sand sculpture as a tool to engage with participants and allow researchers to have conversations about otherwise very complex topics such as pollen and pollution dispersal. This was right up Jamie’s street with his background in Environmental Protection and wonderful to be at the Green Man Festival 2015. The green man festival even made a webpage about it which can be seen here:
After an initial meeting at the Met Office in Exeter, the planning began. The Sand In Your Eye would be made up of Jamie Wardley, myself Claire Jamieson, Tom Bolland and Jo Billingsley. Little Florence would also be attending her first festival with her Auntie Emma and Uncle Neil as her fab babysitters. We were also going to travel down to the Brecon Beacons in our beloved VW T25 Camper “Bungle”.
We arrived on the Wednesday night, ready for a run through with the Met Office Team on Thursday before the workshops began the next day. After a full on training day we were all ready for the workshops to begin in the morning.
The weather was on our side most of the festival, apart from the Sunday when (as predicted by the Met Office!) we had thunderstorms, but they moved on in the afternoon and the sun even came out again!
Throughout all the workshops we made developing landscapes made up of mountains, cities, factories, and countryside. The folks from The Met Office then talked through how pollutants and pollen travel through the air differently, in different landscapes and the impact this has on our health. We illustrated this on the sand sculpture with the help of bubble guns and dry ice, which gathered quite a crowd everytime!
The kids knowledge on these topics was really impressive and they really understood sessions. They made some fabulous landscapes and great fun was had by everyone.
It was a great weekend of sand sculpture, music, lovely food and amazing family memories. Thanks to Ellen at Einstein’s Garden and all at the Met Office.