Friday, 29 June 2012

Extremes and Instabilities presentation

Presentation of extreme wave project at the Meteorological Institute to an audience of retired academics, amateur artists, post doc and doctoral students and current meteorologists. ... and we even had coffee and cakes. 
Thank you to Johannes and Ann Karin for organising this. 
My audience arriving
Captive audience
In full flow
Visit to my studio to discuss processes

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Isobars and fronts

Small experimental experimental pieces playing with weather imagery - atmospheric pressure, warm and colds fronts, isobars....

Monday, 25 June 2012

Marine Research Institute

Another exhibition - this time at the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen. I also spent some time in their library, and whilst much of their focus is on fishing - quotas, stock, diseases,  conservation etc, and not really an area that I want to use, I did discover some old albums containing photographs of the Norwegian fishing trade from1900 to 1930's. I'm hoping to incorporate these into paintings at a later stage. 

Some of these images reinforce how close the fishing trade in Shetland is or was to that in Norway. But also shows the extreme environments in which the Norwegians fished. The photographs illustrate the process of encircling an area and then drawing up the nets - closing in on the catch - I assume that these are mainly herring. They show the boats and their crew worked cooperatively, and how essential this was to the success of the catch. The quantities of fish caught look vast - is it the same today? 
Courtesy of the Marine Institute of Research, Bergen
I was considering how they coped with the cold - particularly in the light of my conversations with fishermen on Shetland about damaged hands; some of the Norwegian photographs show the men wearing huge mittens. Whilst at Ann Karin's midsummer night party (which lasted well into the night and displayed more of the Viking spirit in the male midnight skinny-dipping in waters below 15degrees C), during a chance discussion about the distinction between wool and felt, and how felt is made,  I learned that such mittens were made of naturally oiled wool thickened by several washings in very hot water. The thickness of these would have both repelled the water and the extreme cold. I don't really understand why the fishermen on Shetland didn't also adopt these - maybe I spoke to the wrong fishermen in Shetland and they did - but I then recalled the critical difference in approach to equipment used by the British explorer Scott of the Antarctic who failed to return, to that used by the successful Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who not only discovered the South Pole in December 1911, but was also the first expedition leader to reach the North Pole in 1926 and return! So maybe not... and yet Shetland being so close to Norway it's difficult to understand why they didn't.