Thursday, 25 August 2011


I've been over to Haworth twice this week to continue to get ready for the start of the residency.
I was there on Sunday with Mark Ward - he used to work in Haworth as an official tour guide, so i was treated to a day of information and stories as we walked through the hills. The heather is flowering at the moment: a brilliant purple, vibrant in the sunshine.

I also went over on Tuesday so we could work out the best place to site the weather station and the practicalities involved with installation etc.
Me and Jenna then went to Thornton to meet with David Knowles, the Programme Manager at South Square Gallery, as it's hoped we can collaborate together during the project in some way.
While there we also took a look at the house where Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were born in the village.

The start of the residency is getting closer... 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Setting of Ideas

The more I thought about the weather in the Haworth area in connection to the Brontes, the more i knew the idea could be developed into a project.

The weather in the Pennines has shaped the landscape – it can be harsh, brutal, beautiful, and vital. The weather is responsible for the positioning of settlements, of farming methods, of forming unique habitats and influencing wildlife; it can supply drinking water and wind energy; it directly affects our daily routines, our moods, and inspires our ideas and thoughts. 

My idea: I would like to set up a weather station at the Bronte Parsonage Museum and spend time collecting weather data: rainfall, wind speed, cloud cover, air pressure, air quality, sunshine hours, sky trails across the sky etc. By reading all the Bronte texts (novels, poems, letters by Charlotte, Emily, Anne, Branwell and Patrick) it would be interesting to cross-reference the similarities and differences with present day weather readings.

I proposed this idea to Jenna at the museum - and this is where the project started.*

During the whole of 2009 I decided to take temperature readings every day and write a brief description of the weather where i was living in Preston. The images above show the note books i collected the data in.

*Although the idea was set in 2008, it's taken until now, summer 2011, to get the funding together to start the project. I can't tell you how chuffed i am that we're starting this project, especially after such a long time thinking about it...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Weather

To help me think of an idea I chose Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte as the first Bronte text to read.
It was a good one to start with - it is so gripping and utterly passionate. At the time of reading the novel (in early 2008) i still wasn't sure of what i might think of as a project, so when i finished it i went straight on to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

It was during this time that i started to think about how, when both Emily and Charlotte referred to the weather, they must have been using their own experiences of being in Haworth with its constantly changing weather conditions. It was here that the idea of looking at the weather and comparing it with the writings of the Brontes (Emily, Charlotte, Anne, Patrick and Branwell) came into my head.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Ideas Brewing

After the first visit to The Bronte Parsonage Museum I went for another trip the same month (Feb 2008) for a weekend walking in the surrounding hills.

It was a cold, crisp weekend with clear blue skies on both days. The light on the moorlands was stark but rich and beautiful. The icicles on the water in the streams sparkled and glistened in the sunshine and the heavy frost coated all the vegetation.

This time spent in the landscape helped me start to think about ideas...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

In The Beginning

This project started 3 years ago...

Jenna Holmes, the Arts Officer at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, asked if I'd like to visit the site and perhaps we could think of an idea and work together.

So, in February 2008 I went for my first visit to the museum and surrounding area to meet with Jenna and to start discussions towards this project.

It's been a long time since that first meeting, but with some patience and determination we have finally been able to get started. It took me a while to come up with an idea, plus raising funding for the project took until now.

This blog will run for the whole project describing what inspired the idea and residency and will report on the writings of the Brontes and any references they made to the weather.