Travelling Art Has Seats for Insects


Pestival, is a weekend festival packed with art, music, talks and workshops, celebrating insects in art, and the art of being an insect. It starts from the fact that eighty percent of creatures on earth are insects, the 'pests' without whom humans wouldn't survive and goes on from there.

Eco-artist Bob and Roberta Smith has created a travelling wildlife garden, designed to be a home for insects. His car and wagon, called The 'Mobile Brownfield' have transported a rescued piece of soil from the soon-to-be Olympic site. Taken from an abandoned industrial land, called a brownfield, he hopes to save the insects living on it.

The idea for the piece came from the news that the decline of starlings in English gardens was caused by a lack of insects, and by the trend to designate industrial land as 'brownfield' sites thus making it more attractive for redevelopment.

He has covered his car and trailer with plants from the site and some junk as well. The idea is that they will provide a safe habitat for the insects from the Olympic site.


The bicycle is quite charmingly overgrown with moss. Its basket contains plants, debris and magnifying glasses to examine it all. Children were very interested in poking through the trailer to see what they could find.


The signs all over the piece are classic Bob and Roberta Smith, they contain messages such as "Plant lavender instead of putting in curbstones in London streets." Another says "Don't touch the nettles flies or wasps."


The Bee Cab is an unusual vehicle for an important message about the declining state of the bee population. It's an old London taxi, covered with shag rug to make it look like a giant bee. Inside the Bee Cab, in the front seat window, is a working beehive. Inside the passenger's part of the cab itself is a short film on the world bee problem. Urban bee keepers are there to explain how the hive works and what we can do help the bee population. : Pestival
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