Monthly Archives: March 2012

As the current weather hovers much unsettled on the cusp between Winter and Spring my attentions turn to the natural elements and the role they play within my own work and others. Often a point of inspiration or even subject matter in my own pieces, sound-tracked by howling wind or pattering rain, with shadowy movements caused by intense sunshine or darkened clouds, I artificially create weather, a means to creating atmosphere or event. Weather is at the same time both mundane and extraordinary, from miserable UK rain, to beautiful sunsets and then catastrophic natural disasters, it’s element which is beyond the human control… unless you’re an artist that is…

Inspired by Berndnaut Smilde’s wonderful ‘Nimbus’, which has been a hot feature in the art press this week, I thought I would share a couple of weather inspired favourite artworks:

Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus II, 2012

Smilde’s ‘Nimbus’, is in fact a ‘real’ cloud which, created by the artist, it appears momentary in the gallery space before disappearing. Beautiful and ethereal ‘Nimbus’ perpetuates and intensifies the cloud’s status as transitional object of wonder.

Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, 2003

‘Nimbus’ automatically causes me to think of Eliasson’s amazing Turbine Hall commission, ‘The Weather Project’, my so far unbeaten favourite in the Unilever series. The full extent of this mesmerising and continual sun-scape can be viewed by clicking here. Eliasson’s large scale immersing installations often explore viewer experience, spatial awareness, light and man-made nature

Thomas Demand, Rain, 2008

Thomas Demand’s ‘Rain’, explores the properties of the element of rain via the medium of film. His four minute video, which can be viewed by clicking here, is a painstaking re-creation of rain falling onto a hard surface. The recreation of this familiar sight and sound is strangely hypnotising and comforting, like listening to heavy rain fall, from the safe, warm, indoors on a darkened afternoon.


I’m yet to mention a project I began working on whilst out in India with fellow Nottingham based artist Alice Thickett. The idea stemmed from Alice, who taking part in Project India from the UK, asked me to send her a series of short texts whilst I was out in Mumbai. We decided upon the medium of Twitter for this project due to the limitations of word count. These short tweets, created by myself, cryptically reflected upon experiences and encounters of both the project and city of Mumbai whilst I was out there. The 17 tweets I sent to Alice are as follows:

1. 5 arrive in Mumbai. Organised chaos. Adjust. False start but moving forward…

2. With fresh eyes heading across the tracks, first sights, everything shifts  

3. Spilting up 3 abstract stories: 1. Failed persuasion against Vastu, 2. Seeing the ‘other’ side of the city 3. The high life.

4. ‘Corruption spreads quickly in Mumbai’-taxi driver

5. Working with limitations, transforming space, jarring elements. Contemporary vs Traditional

6. Nothing is straight forward, but it’s on the cusp on something

7. Down alleyways, back street corners, open spaces, shopping malls, from dizzy heights, the city continues its constant juxtaposition

8. Explore respond dialogue explore expand create

9. Around corners, down darkened alleys, inside old buildings, up creaky staircases, behind large wooden doors, art awaits.

10. A small calm space hidden within a maze of traffic, stacked housing, colour, noise and people.

11.Traffic, horns, beep beep, bicycle bell, sweeping, birds circling, birds squawking, fans spinning, air conditioned hum

12. Dialogue, ideas and words exchanged. Re-thinking, re-evaluating and continuously evolving.

13. A space within a space, hidden. Turned inside out, revealed. Secrets of the space/// secrets of the city unravel..

14. Tying up loose threads, and still weaving across the city

15. The city coast line; in the evening’s people gather in flocks to sit and stare out to sea

16. Circles, rummaging through the cinematic past, connecting, ending, closing in

17. A taxi journey in a previous land. Two lands merged.  Distance.

In exchange, and as a development to the concept, I too received tweets from Alice in Hong Kong during the month of February. The text we have both sent and received will be responded to, becoming two separate artworks created by the recipient artists. These artworks will hopefully be shown in an exhibition at some point this year which will be based around the concept of responsive artwork. I will not reveal Alice’s tweets, but the ideas process has began to make one, or several pieces which respond to and take influence from her words. As a complete stranger to Hong Kong, Alice’s words act as my only guide, this strangeness of place will be reflected within my work as a narrative of displacement unravels…