A COW-CAR and a colossal canary are just two of the unusual installations that will be popping up across the Tees Valley this weekend.

Artists have come together to create thought-provoking and unusual artworks, following the theme of clean air, for the second VIEWPOINTS project which bookends this year’s Festival of Thrift.

The second year of the festival’s art-focused offshoot features a lung cleaning station, a giant artwork created with ink made from exhaust fumes, dancers wearing pollution-sensing costumes, enormous painted canaries, an extraordinary green house and a series of mindful observation pavilions, which will be located across the region from September 12 to 19.

The Northern Echo:

In Darlington's Indoor Market, Cabinet of Curiosity will be exhibiting a paper-based greenhouse and will contain plants that possess effective air cleaning properties.

HALDANE, by Colin Davies, is an enormous artwork taking over the side of the TWI Technology centre in Middlesbrough featuring canaries, which were often used in mining to signify the presence of toxic gases.

Sally Hogarth has created Sit, Stop on Redcar seafront, will offer a unique viewpoint to the Tees Valley allowing people to “simply sit and observe the nature before you."

At Middlesbrough railway station Dawn Felicia Knox’s Transpire/Respire/Inspire installation will allow people to step inside a glowing cube filled with plants and light.

The Northern Echo:

This installation will function as its own lung cleaning station, filled with plants that are actively cleaning the air and removing the toxins from the environment.

Peter J Evan’s unique work at Palace Arts in Redcar will use Air-InkTM - ink created from recycled exhaust fumes - working with Graviky Labs of India, who have pioneered this extraordinary process.

The region will also see the return of the Cow-car by sculptor and art-car-maker Andy Hazell, which was popular with the public when it featured as part of last year’s VIEWPOINTS project.

The steel figure of a cow welded onto the roof of a VW car presciently aimed to make people aware of the fact that today’s burger habit means that intensively-farmed cows are producing methane in quantities that rival car emissions, and asks “perhaps we need to think about what we eat and its effect on our lovely planet”.

Festival of Thrift director, Stella Hall, said: “Art is a powerful way to make people think about serious issues differently. This year’s VIEWPOINTS artworks are designed to provoke thoughts about the importance of everyone’s right to enjoy clean air.

“We’re also celebrating the clean air we enjoy in the Tees Valley to challenge misconceptions of the area as a polluted industrial landscape.”

Cllr Shane Moore, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture and Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said “The Festival of Thrift is one of the region’s large-scale stand-out events, going from strength to strength every year and drawing in visitors from across the UK.