Could Jeff Koons help lower asthma rates amongst the children of Hackney?

26 April 2019

Jeff Koons: Split Rocker (Via Art for Air)

I think we can all agree that by and large children are good and that children having to live with the consequences of increased levels of air pollution in inner-city areas is an unjust, unfair, and ultimately bad thing.

Parents of the Queensbridge Primary School in London Fields have decided to do something about the fact that around 30% of the student body suffer from asthma. This isn’t, they say, helped by the fact that the school’s location – on a main road – sees pollution levels going over the legal limit at peak times.

The current playground, we’re told, is in “dire need” of trees and green walls to help combat pollution. And, the beleaguered parents of the London Fields catchment might have found an unusual saviour in the shape of one of contemporary art’s biggest names.

Enter Jeff Koons.

The prince of pomo and a whole heap of other practitioners have donated work for a one-off auction intended to raise a bit of cash for the Queensbridge cohort. They’ve tried raffles, they’ve given bake sales a go, but now it’s time to start banging that gavel and bringing in the big bucks.

The Art for Air auction is both a virtual and physical affair. The online side of things is currently in motion, with the bulk of the 100 pieces that make up the collection – which includes work by the likes of Nathalie Du Pasquier, Rob Ryan, and Mr Bingo – biddable right this second.

A few of the pieces, including Koons’ contribution (a snow globe sculpture entitled Split Rocker) are being reserved for a live auction at Hackney’s Old Bank Vault Gallery on 9 May.

Money raised from the sales will be invested directly into “trees, sensory plants and SEN playground provisions to create new play areas for the children as well as help improve the air quality,” in the neighbourhood.


Nathalie Du Pasquier: Untitled (Via Art for Air)


Mr. Bingo: Rasheed Does a Kickflip (Via Art for Air)


Patrick Caulfield: Dressed Lobster (Via Art for Air)

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About the Author

Josh Baines

Josh Baines joined It's Nice That from July 2018 to July 2019 as News Editor, covering new high-profile projects, awards announcements, and everything else in between.

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