Admiral Fitzroy’s first weather forecast, rain gods from the Americas, historical and contemporary art are all part of Whatever the Weather, an exhibition starting at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery this Saturday.
The exhibition exposes humanity’s relationship to the elements and how the weather has always affected our lives. Whatever the Weather brings together a mix of historical paintings and prints, artefacts, archives and the work of contemporary artists exploring this changing relationship. It draws on the collections of the Met Office, National Trust, Royal Meteorological Society and RAMM’s own collections and includes historical paintings of stormy seascapes and ships in distress, private weather diaries, weathervanes, barometers, thermometers and all manner of recording instruments. Admiral Fitzroy’s first ever weather forecast, issued by the Met Office in 1861, is displayed along with Beaufort’s original table of wind strength (the Beaufort Scale) from 1810.
Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture said “We are delighted that the exhibition will start with a live weather forecast by BBC presenter David Braine at the exhibition preview on Friday evening. With the combination of art and science, the old and the new, objects, paintings and documents, all on a theme that is never far from our thoughts, it promises to be a very popular exhibition. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the William Blake painting from the National Trust property at Arlington Court and the new artwork by Susan Collins. Her work will bring real-time images of Wembury and Woolacombe, two of Devon’s most famous coastal locations, into the gallery.”
Susan Collins is one of the UK’s leading artists working with digital media. She is currently Slade Professor and Director of the Slade School of Fine Art and was commissioned to create the work in response to the historical material in the exhibition.
The exhibition also includes Joanna Brown’s latest works exploring floods and their aftermath, Simon Faithfull's video piece created with the help of a weather balloon and new artwork by Julian Grater.
The exhibition runs until 10 Apr 2016 accompanied by a busy programme of events. Developed with the Met Office and the National Trust, talks, coastal walks, debates and family activities expand upon the exhibition themes. Visitor photos of Devon weather will be available to browse on an iPad in the exhibition. Photos can be shared by uploading them to Instagram with #devonweather in the caption or directly through Tumblr.
The first event is an evening talk on Tuesday 1 December by Helen Chivers, Head of News and Social Media at the Met Office. She will give a personal view of the Met Office, from working in the forecasting centres around the UK to the challenging role of heading up the press office. Tickets are available online.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary the National Trust’s Neptune Campaign to protect Britain’s coasts.
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