Lie on your back and observe the shapes drifting through the sky. Imagine the weight of the billions of droplets of water suspended – a blanket, saturated and heavy, slipping between forms, amorphous and ever changing. Claire Pendrigh’s exhibition Clouds of a Chaotic Sky is an exploration of the sublime, ephemeral beauty of clouds.
The exhibition takes its name from a cloud state that can be observed regularly in Hobart; “Altocumulus of a Chaotic Sky”. The works are linked with this city. In them, stories, myths and sciences from diverse origins are reimagined to take place in Tasmania. A suspended cloud is constructed from small ceramic objects, made with locally dug clay and fired in the artist’s West Hobart garden. A language of meteorological symbols recurs throughout the works, but severed from their scientific origins they become rune like – a tie to something elemental and primal.
How do we make sense of the weather? We monitor and model it, installing sensors and gauges across the surface of the globe to understand and predict the swirl of air currents, temperatures and pressure systems. We personify it, creating gods that sit atop fluffy cumulous piles or transform themselves into a rolling storm front. We enact ceremonies to bring rain, brew storms in witches’ cauldrons, and seed clouds with silver iodine.
Clouds have always been significant to us, and through our mythologies and sciences throughout human history we’ve tried to understand them, to predict them, and to modify them. After millennia of attempting to predict and affect the subtleties of our climate, it seems we have been successful in triggering real change – but not in a way we had imagined.
Saturday 6 – Monday 22 January 2018
10:00am – 4:00pm daily
Friday 5 January 2018, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Exhibition to be opened by Simon McCulloch – ABC’s 7pm Weather Presenter in Tasmania and Senior Forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology.