"An art-science ACE project to explore the common allergy hay fever, highlighting pollen's beauty and malevolence."
Which pollen grain causes the most problem for hay fever sufferers?
(read on for the answer)
Daisies rely mostly on insects for pollination, using their brightly coloured petals and strong scents to attract their insects visitors. Due to the spiky barbed surface and sticky coating, the daisy pollen easily becomes attached to the hairs of visiting insects. Insects then become delivery post men depositing pollen grains to another daisy flower for fertilisation. Trees, however are leafy green plants that do not use insects in the same way for pollination, instead they use the wind. Tree pollen is smooth, light and powdery dry – perfect to be caught up by gusts of wind and because it becomes airborne, we accidentally breath it. This is when the trouble starts for hay fever sufferers to cause allergenic reactions.
Therefore, it is due to these individual differences and characteristics that green, leafy tree pollen, like that of the Hazel tree, are far more likely to cause allergenic reactions as we breathe them in, than daisy pollen that travels about on an insect.
My postcard series was collated from research, data and collaborations, and includes this comparison of the daisy and hazel pollen both visually and informatively from a creative lens. There are a total of nine art-science postcards in all – free to the public – to inform, share and intrigue.
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