Network partner Artangel, an art organisation in London, imagines two contrasting locations as weather stations: the iconic Senate House Library and a flat shared by artist Abi Palmer and two Siberian forest cats exploring how everyday weather is experienced, defined and communicated.
About this weather station
Two Artangel commissions explore how everyday weather is experienced, defined and communicated, in the context of two contrasting locations in London: the iconic Senate House Library and a flat shared by artist Abi Palmer and two Siberian forest cats. From both locations, a series of films, audio works, and live events with invited speakers will be shared via the World Weather Network.
A THOUSAND WORDS FOR WEATHER
Conceived by the Taiwanese-Canadian writer Jessica J. Lee, A Thousand Words for Weather is a multilingual "dictionary" of personal, affective weather words.
For each of ten languages—English, Arabic, Bengali, Spanish, French, Polish, Urdu, Mandarin, Turkish, and German—UK-based poets and translators have defined ten words for the weather, translating each of these into the other languages of a thousand-word dictionary: a tentative step towards generating a shared language for our environment.
At Senate House Library:
Composer and artist Claudia Molitor has reimagined this dictionary as a weather system of sounds, located on three floors of the Senate House Library.
This audio experience continually changes in response to the weather outside, integrating data from the UK Met Office via a bespoke playback system designed by software architect Peter Chilvers.
The installation and an accompanying exhibition of historical weather-related items from the Senate House Library’s collections is open from 22 June 2022 until 25 March 2023. To find out more visit the Artangel website.
Over the course of the weather station’s life a sequence of “weather reports” by artists involved in the project, plus a series of online talks and conversations with invited artists and thinkers, will be published online.
Chinese-born spatial and visual designer FeiFei Zhou will reimagine A Thousand Words for Weather as a living, animated dictionary for the web. Zhou’s report will be published later in the year.
ABI PALMER INVENTS THE WEATHER
Starring Lola Lola and Cha-u-Kao, this is a new collaboration between the artist and writer Abi Palmer, and her two house cats. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Palmer adopted the pair to live with her on the third floor of a south London housing block. Unable to explore the outside world for their own safety, Palmer brings the outdoors indoors to her cats. With the climate crisis on our doorstep, these fragments become shrines to nature, helping to process complex feelings of grief and reverence for what has been lost.
Abi Palmer will produce four online films, each featuring a cardboard box to represent a season filled with smells and textures: pine, oak, sage, leaves, petrichor and moss, collected as the weather changes. Each season becomes the cats’ primary play and performance space for a quartet of short films, punctuated by commentary written and narrated by the artist.
For the past three decades Artangel has been commissioning exceptional artists to produce groundbreaking new work in unexpected locations across London, throughout the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Artangel’s projects have materialized in many different sites and situations, from the ordinary to the extraordinary; ornate palaces to terraced houses, abandoned villages to empty department stores, daytime television, late-night radio and online, generating some of the most dynamic, talked-about and acclaimed art of recent times.
Creating memorable experiences for broad audiences, Artangel’s projects include landmark works by Matthew Barney, Jeremy Deller, PJ Harvey, Roni Horn, Cristina Iglesias, Miranda July, Mike Kelley, Michael Landy, Steve McQueen, Taryn Simon and Rachel Whiteread.