Friday, 14 December 2012

Exhibition Opening

It was the opening last night of Wildness Between Lines at Leeds College of Art.
I have one of my graph drawings in the show, along with the complete weather archive and a few of my books. The weather station has also been set up in the gallery.
Lots of people braved the freezing cold weather to enjoy a glass of wine and collect a lovely little exhibition catalogue - and i saw a few people i know.

It is a group show and each of us have used the Bronte sisters in some way to influence the making of artwork. Artists in the show are: Catherine Bertola, Su Blackwell, Bristow & Lloyd, Victoria Brookland, Paula Chambers, The Hellars, Victoria Lucas, Lisa Sheppy, Aymee Smith, Stephanie Vegh, Simon Warner, Marci Washington, Teresa Whitfield, David Wilson and me.

There are some really beautiful works in the exhibition, so try and get along if you get the chance. Details of opening times are below.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wildness Between Lines


One of my Bronte graph drawings, the completed weather archive and my collection of tabbed Bronte books are going to be on show in Leeds from this Friday.

Wildness Between Lines is at Leeds College of Art  (on Blenheim Walk) and runs from 14th December until 2nd February 2013.
It is open Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm and entry is free.

It's the preview on Thursday night 5 - 7pm - if you fancy coming along?

The lovely weather station from my residency at the Bronte Parsonage Museum will also be on show in the gallery - it'll be good to see that inside as a remembrance of the project.

The images above are of my Bronte books, tabbed where every reference to the weather is found: Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Professor, Agnes Grey, Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Shirley and Selected Poems.

Monday, 10 December 2012

I Finished Shirley!

"This is an autumn evening, wet and wild. There is only one cloud in the sky, but it curtains it from pole to pole. The wind cannot rest; it hurries sobbing over hills of sullen outline, colourless with twilight arid mist. Rain has beat all day on that church tower. It rises dark from the stony enclosure of its graveyard. The nettles, the long grass, and the tombs all drip with wet. This evening reminds me too forcibly of another evening some years ago - a howling, rainy autumn evening too - when certain who had that day performed a pilgrimage to a grave new-made in a heretic cemetery sat near a wood fire on the hearth of a foreign dwelling. They were merry and social, but they each knew that a gap, never to be filled, had been made in their circle. They knew they had lost something whose absence could never be quite atoned for so long as they lived; and they knew that the heavy falling rain was soaking into the wet earth which covered their lost darling, and that the sad, sighing gale was mourning above her buried head. The fire warmed them; life and friendship yet blessed them; but Jessie lay cold, coffined, solitary - only the sod screening her from the storm."

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte written in 1848 / 49

I finished it! All 627 pages of it. I admit there are some nice passages in the book, however i found it a really hard slog - like trying to get up a featureless hill on your knees in the rain. Sorry.
This does mark the end of reading Bronte texts for the project though - that's all i've read more or less for a year - so i am in a dither as to what to read next...

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Weather Archive is finished

When i was last at the Bronte Parsonage Museum i collected all the completed cards that the weather collectors have filled in.

They have been writing weather records every day for more than a year from October 18th 2011 until November 5th 2012. Everyone who volunteered lives in the local area around Haworth.
I always presumed we might get a couple of days in the year when nobody collected any information at all maybe when on holiday, perhaps from illness, or being busy might mean that nobody managed to write anything down on some random dates. However, I have records for every single day during that time. I originally started with 10 collectors, but towards the end of the year it was down to four dedicated individuals who were still collecting notes every day. Amazing.

So, i spent the last couple of days cutting out the divide cards, stamping them and then sorting all the hand written cards into date order.

I'm thrilled that it's finished and the entire archive will be going on show in an exhibition in Leeds next month (i'll put details on the blog soon).

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Taking down the weather station

I was at the Bronte Parsonage Museum yesterday to take the digital weather station down as we've come to the end of the project.
The weather was drear (as Charlotte Bronte might describe it) with lashing rain, fog over the moors and gusty winds. I got battered by the weather while trying to unbolt all the fixings on the station and its tripod.
In the afternoon we had the final meeting of the the weather collectors. Five of the nine remaining collectors came to hand in their cards and to have a quick brew, biscuits and a chat about the project.

I am thrilled that they all managed to document the weather for the whole year - what dedication. I can't express how happy i am at how they could be so thoroughly committed to being involved in my project for such a long time - taking time every day to check the temperature and note down their observations of the weather. Every day. Amazing.

On that note i was a bit sad yesterday - i don't like a project coming to an end. All the staff at the Museum have welcomed me in and helped in every way; and meeting the weather collectors has been such a delight.
The weather collectors are: Beryl Dodsworth, Richard Gibson, Felix Ansell, Pat Dawson, John Milne, Colin Day, Mr and Mrs Lever, Julie Arkhurst, Chris Roper and Michael Pearmain.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Bronte Weather Project

The Bronte Weather Project is coming to an end. It's been just over a year that i've been collecting weather data from the Bronte Parsonage Museum garden: the exact place on the planet where the Bronte sisters lived, worked and died. Researching the subject around the weather has been fascinating: looking at the way it has shaped the moors of the surrounding area; how it effected the Bronte's everyday lives and their health; how it influenced their fictional writing in novels and poems and also in their letters to others. It's obvious that in a year i could only cover so much and this subject is vast - so i know i'll continue this line of enquiry beyond the end of the project.

I'm going to the Museum next week to dismantle the weather station and to collect the remaining cards from my weather collectors. The weather archive will then be complete with a year of hand written cards documenting the year of weather around Haworth for 2011 - 2012. I've been asked to show some of the artwork and supporting material in an exhibition in Leeds in December and i hope that the whole weather archive can be included in that too - i'll let you know.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Shirley Bronte

"On Nunnwood - the sole remnant of antique British forest in a region whose lowlands were once all silvan chase, as its highlands were breast-deep heather - slept the shadow of a cloud; the distant hills were dappled, the horizon was shaded and tinted like mother-of-pearl; silvery blues, soft purples, evanescent greens and rose-shades, all melting into fleeces of white cloud, pure as azury snow, allured the eye as with a remote glimpse of heaven's foundations. The air blowing on the brow was fresh, and sweet, and bracing."

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte written in 1848 / 49

My friend wondered if there was a Shirley Bronte - a less known sister perhaps.

I've managed to get through a few more chapters of the book while on various train journeys, but i'm still only about half way through. I was a bit disappointed the other day when my bag got stolen off my allotment that my copy of Shirley wasn't in the bag. That would have served the nasty little git right. However my lovely little Leica camera was in the bag - so if anyone tries to sell you a camera with images of rainbows, clouds and meadows on let me know.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Trip to the Bronte Parsonage Museum

The weather project is coming to an end - i've been collecting weather data at the Bronte Parsonage Museum for a year now. I was there yesterday to collect more data and generally hang about at the Museum. I planned to go for a walk onto the moors, but the weather was too bad - it was a wretched day of high winds bringing in lashings of rain. It's been mentioned that every time i go to the Museum the weather is bad. Not sure its really my fault though. The day did end with rainbows and blue sky - can i take some credit for that too?

On the journey I use the time to keep on ploughing my way through Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. It's such a struggle to get into this book - the first mention of 'Shirley' is 200 pages in. I was beginning to wonder if i'd missed a whole character somewhere in the story*. However, I have noted a couple of weather descriptions though that are really nice - and i'll put them on the blog soon.

*'Story' is used in its loosest form. I would only recommend reading this book if your life depended on it - life is too short and there are plenty other books you could be enjoying.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I was in Haworth again at the weekend as i was talking at a symposium about the landscape and literature.  There was no booing or food missiles thrown so i consider it a success. Talking at the same symposium was poet Simon Armitage - i was especially nervous about speaking at the same event and in honour of the occasion i did consider doing my 10 minute presentation in rhyme, until my friend Elaine pointed out that nothing rhymes with Chesney.
Anyway, i had a lovely day and met lots of interesting people.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

National Poetry Day

Will the day be bright or cloudy?
Sweetly has its dawn begun
But the heaven may shake with thunder
Ere the setting of the sun

Lady watch Apollo's journey
Thus thy first born's course shall be-
If his beams though summer vapours
Warm the earth all placidly
Her days shall pass like a pleasant dream in sweet

If it darken if a shadow
Quench his rays and summon rain
Flowers may open buds may blossom
Bud and flower alike are vain
Her days shall pass like a mournful story in care and tears
   and pain

If the wind be fresh and free
The wide skies clear and cloudless blue
The woods and fields and golden flowers
Sparkling in sunshine and in dew
Her days shall pass in Glory's light the world's drear desert

Emily Bronte - poem dated 12th July 1836
(Published in 1902)

Friday, 28 September 2012

Confessions of a Bad Weather Girl

Although the exhibition Hope's Whisper has now finished at the Bronte Parsonage Museum I am still continuing to collect weather data from the station positioned in the Museum garden until mid October (a whole year since we started the project).

However, i have a bit of a confession to make - and i am truely, deeply sorry for how rubbish i am at being a good weather girl.
Every month i go and download the data - and i do a quick check to see if all the information has transfered to my computer before leaving. I do this by looking at one of the data charts showing temperature and air pressure. All has been fine so far....
During my last visit last week though, i noticed that the yearly data was showing that there had been no rain recorded for the last 2 months. How could this be? It's not like we've had a beautiful hot sunny summer is it?
So, i went to check the weather station and found that the rain gauge was blocked up with leaves and berries from the tree near by. Can i swear on a public blog? I'd better not - but think of a bad word and insert it into the following sentence:

"Oh ---- !"

If it makes anyone feel any better about it i had to reach up and un-block the rain gauge and in doing so the valve emptied the newly measured water all down my front.

Racked with guilt i've spent the last week realising the consequences of my bad weather girl antics - i can't now do a yearly summary of the weather data collected.
Insert another swear word here.

Friday, 21 September 2012

'3 Bells' Finally Gives In

I went across to the Bronte Parsonage Museum on Tuesday to collect the monthly weather data and also to dismantle the 3 Bells sculpture in the front garden.
A few days ago i received an email from Jenna at the Museum informing me that the wheel had fallen off the sculpture in a storm during the night...
The sculpture has done quite well considering the weather this summer has thrown at it - the solar rotor continued to spin until the bitter end even though there were days when it wasn't sunny enough to get it going at all; and i managed to get a short video of the wheel going round in the breeze hitting the bell above it; and by all accounts the water powered bell collected enough rain to set the bell off a few times.
Although the sculpture is now gone from the garden, the exhibition is still on until 24th September - so you still have a few days left to see the work.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Exhibition Extended

Hope's Whisper at the Bronte Parsonage Museum has been extended and will now be on show until September 23rd - so if you didn't get across to the Museum during the summer, you now have a chance in the next couple of weeks to make the trip.
Alongside my work are the Abraham Shackleton records showing the weather data he collected during the 1800's, plus a copy of the Babbage Report (there's details below about both subjects).

Go to the Museum website for opening times and admission charges etc

Monday, 3 September 2012

Last Few Days

Hope's Whisper finishes on 5th September, so there's only a couple of days left to see the exhibition at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
The show seems to have gone very quickly, but i will continue to collect the weather data from the weather station in the Museum garden until mid October so i have a full year of information. I can then also finish the archive of weather postcards that the weather collectors so diligently filled in throughout the year.

Some pieces from the exhibition are going to be shown in another venue at the end of the year - but i'll fill you in on that nearer the time.

By the way - I've still not finished Shirley by Charlotte Bronte - i have to confess it is a bit of a battle.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Keighley Corporation Waterworks

Ages ago one of my weather collectors, Mike, gave me (on loan) some old annual reports from Keighley Corporation Waterworks that he'd been given. They date from 1917. There are a few into the 1920's, a couple from 1930's and one from 1956. They are simple, beautiful pamphlets giving information on the reservoirs around Haworth.
There are tables of rainfall and also the mention of wettest months or length of time without rain.
The 1917 report describes conditions in 1916:

"The longest period of continuous rainfall occurred between 12-0 noon on March 15th to 4-0 am on March 17th, a period of 40 hours, during which the total rainfall amounted to 1.27 inches.

On November 18th, 1916, there was a short sharp shower of rain at 8.25 pm amounting to .07 of an inch, but this fell almost at once as no appreciable interval of time can be seen on the Hyetograph diagram. The rate might therefore be considered to be anything between 4 1/2 inches per hour and 18 or 20 inches per hour. Such sudden rainfall requires to be specially observed to get an accurate measurement of the exact interval of fall, but unfortunately in these special cases, even if the sudden deluge occurs during the daytime, the shower is over before its intensity is realized."

Between 4 1/2 inches and 20 inches per hour?! No wonder the reservoirs have been built in the area.
I know the dates don't match up to my Bronte time dates - but it's fascinating reading and i've enjoyed perusing the information.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

"Mr Moore haunted his mill, his mill-yard, his dyehouse, and his warehouse till the sickly dawn strengthened into day. The sun even rose - at least a white disc, clear, tintless and almost chill-looking as ice, peeped over the dark crest of a hill, changed to silver the livid edge of a cloud above it, and looked solemnly down the whole length of the den, or narrow dale, to whose straight bounds we are present limited."

Shirley was written in 1848 / 49 by Charlotte Bronte

I am only 100 pages into Shirley (out of 600 odd pages) - i'm finding that i'm a bit Bronted out at the moment and not able to read too much of it in one go. However, there are some really nice passages in it - so i'm going to persevere.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Dressing Up

Since the Bronte Weather Project started in October 2011 I have read masses of Bronte texts and related material: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte; Jane Eyre, The Professor and half of Shirley (i'm still reading it) by Charlotte Bronte; plus about 200 letters and nearly 100 poems. I've tried to learn weather patterns, cloud names and how to decipher my collected weather data; i've looked at historical records about health and illness; about environmental issues and how the weather is key to the moorland habitat around Haworth; i've contacted quite a few experts for their advice and opinions and visited other museums to look at weather related equipment and records.
I then spent quite a bit of time drawing, painting, printing, making, constructing, framing and installing the finished works...

So, i was delighted when a journalist called the other day and asked "in one sentence, how did the weather inspire the Bronte sisters?" He said that with all the bad weather we were having lately it was something that the national papers would be interested in - especially with all the interest in the Bronte sisters. I was even more thrilled when the photographer asked if he could take my picture out on the moors, and asked if i knew of anyone i could borrow traditional costume from to dress up in. Tragically, i don't know anyone who i could borrow any frocks from, so we couldn't do it.

I wondered if i could dress up as Kate Bush - might that do?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Literary Weather

I've been away for a few days - here and there. On Thursday last week it was the Literary Weather event at the Bronte Parsonage Museum where I was in conversation with Alexandra Harris. It all went really well (no booing from the audience) and i really enjoyed meeting Alexandra and talking about the Brontes and the weather, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and stuff. The Parsonage gave everyone tea and cake which went down very well.

I was then in Wales for the weekend and then on Monday i was in Thornton near Bradford to take down the South Square Gallery exhibition. That went good too - i was worried about how i'd get the 9m long drawing off the wall without ripping it to pieces - but in the end it came down ok - a smooth operation of holding and rolling the drawing up with one hand, while un-clipping it from the wall with the other, while holding my breath.

The images above show cake, obviously, and a page from The Beginner's Guide to Weather Forecasting by Stanley Wells. I bought it from a charity shop the other day - it has wonderful diagrams in it and symbols of the weather too.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Last Few Days at SSG

Part of the Hope's Whisper exhibition is coming to a close this weekend so if you haven't been you'd better get along to South Square Gallery by Sunday 29th July. You'll get the chance to see some Bronte Parsonage rain i collected in April and May this year. Not finding a container large enough i have displayed some of the rain in a glass measuring thingy.
It's come in handy in the exhibition space with all the drips coming in through the ceiling and down the beams. When i go and take the exhibition apart next week i'll check to see if the level has gone up.

I still have a jam jar of rain collected from the Parsonage on my desk that has developed a lovely green bloom suspended through the middle of it and has bits of insects wings and bodies floating in it. Strange Yorkshire rain that is.

If you don't manage to get to South Square Gallery the main part of Hope's Whisper continues at the Bronte Parsonage Museum until September 5th. Plenty of time.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

In Conversation with Alexandra Harris

There's an event this thursday night (26th July) at the Bronte Parsonage Museum - i'm going to be in conversation with writer and critic Alexandra Harris and we'll be talking about the weather and the Brontes and the cultural significance of weather.
Alexandra wrote Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper and she is currently writing a book about the cultural history of weather.
I'm excited to meet her and for us to discuss the Brontes' use of weather and putting their work into context.

I'm pretty sure the event is sold out - but you can visit the what's on bit of the Bronte Parsonage Museum website to check:

The image above is from a walk up Parlick on saturday when the sun finally managed to come out...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Getting There Eventually

I managed to get to the Bronte Parsonage Museum on wednesday last week (see blog post below) and i was able to put my little table together so the Weather Archive could be put on show and i tinkered with the sculpture outside so all the bells lined up properly. The solar rotor needed a flick to get it going and the funnel needed a few leaves removed, but other than that it seems to have weathered the conditions this summer has thrown at it.

It was going back through Hebden Bridge that was a shocking and sad part to the journey. I knew that there had been floods in the town a couple of weeks ago (the same day i was travelling back from Bradford from the school workshop and passengers weren't allowed off the train at Hebden Bridge because of the floods caused by torrential rain). Lots of the little shops were closed because of the damage and there were sandbags at most shop doors. One estate agent had all the office contents on the street - filing cabinets, furniture, framed pictures from the walls etc and in the town there a number of skips full of the contents of the houses. It was a bit weird walking around as it was a calm, sunny afternoon and some shops were open with people shopping or sat out on the street having tea - so there was a strange mix of normality interwoven with destruction.

Seeing how the weather has affected residents in Hebden Bridge made me see the real devastation a few changes in conditions can have on people. This summer has been terrible and i've moaned at how it's stopped me going to the allotment; we have a leak in the ceiling that the landlord is reluctant to get fixed; and i have a new skirt i haven't had chance to wear... but going through Hebden Bridge made me feel so badly for the people who have experienced real destruction from the weather.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Failed Trip to BPM

I was supposed to be at the Bronte Parsonage Museum today and i set off this morning at 8.30
I had quite a bit of stuff with me - i had my laptop, packed lunch, and the components of a small display table with accompanying tools (to put it back together when i got there) so i was fairly laden down.
However, the bus from Hebden Bridge Station to Keighley was cancelled as there was a road block and the diversion wasn't big enough for a bus (apparently). It was suggested that i catch a bus up to the top of the village, then walk for approximately 30 - 40 mins to a remote turning circle up on the moors where, by all accounts, the bus would come once an hour to pick passengers up. As convenient as this option sounded, i decided to catch the train home - it was beginning to rain and i know there isn't a shelter at the turning circle and the thought of trailing up the hill with all my stuff only to have to wait in the rain for 55 mins (because lets face it i would miss the hourly bus by 5 mins...) wasn't too tempting.

So, i was home by midday - having gone on a pointless journey. At least i had my squashed sandwiches to look forward to for lunch.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Thornton Primary School Workshop

I was over in Thornton on monday to do a day of workshops with students of year 5 at Thornton Primary School (same village as South Square Gallery).

The day started with 15 students coming to the gallery for a talk and quick tour around the exhibition, then we did a practical workshop making paper windmills. We went out into the little sculpture garden at the back of the gallery, but as luck would have it the wind had completely dropped, so none of the windmills turned round unless we blew on them until we felt slightly dizzy.

The afternoon was spent with 30 students making a total mess of the classroom, having fun doing cutting and sticking. So much glue was used on some of the works that it was physically impossible to lift the final images off the desks.

Some spectacular works were created and i really enjoyed meeting the kids. With it taking nearly 6 hours of travel there and back it was a shame the teacher couldn't make it to either morning or afternoon session though.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

South Square Gallery Opening Night

It was the opening of Hope's Whisper at South Square Gallery on Friday night - and typically it poured down all day leading up to it - and during the evening too. There was two other shows opening on the same night - so lots of people battled the elements and came along to the gallery.

I had arrived at lunch time during the day as i still had to install the 9m long drawing on one of the walls. I had visions of it being really tricky, but as it goes it went really well. Being an old building the gallery walls are all uneven and everything is on a lean - but getting it level and straight turned out to go ok - and after i'd marked everything out it took three of us to get it up on the wall.

The drawing shows contemporary weather records - temperature, air pressure and rainfall records collected at the Bronte Parsonage Museum from Oct 2011 - April 2012. Over the top of the graph is a temperature line gathered by Abraham Shackleton from Oct 1848 - April 1849.
Underneath the graph are some of the weather cards from all my weather collectors - showing their thoughts and comments on various days during the period the graph covers.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Exhibition at South Square Gallery

The new artworks i've made for Hope's Whisper are split between two venues. The opening at the Bronte Parsonage Museum was two weeks ago and the second part is held at South Square Gallery in Thornton, which happens to be the birth place of the Bronte sisters.
I was there all day yesterday setting up the exhibition as it's due to open tomorrow night.
We got most of the work up, but are yet to tackle the 9m long drawing showing 6 months of weather records collected at the Parsonage Museum from October 2011 - April 2012.
There is also a temperature data line on the graph from Abraham Shackleton's records from October 1848 - April 1849.

There's a tiny gap in the data in the Shackleton line - 2012 was a leap year so i was able to get records for 29th February, but it wasn't a leap year in 1849 - so the records stop for a day right in the middle of the drawing.

Also on show are a couple of letters by Charlotte and Anne Bronte and a poem by Emily Bronte. Plus my three death prints and two smaller graphs (A1 size).

The image above shows the piece of work where i have taken a letter by Charlotte Bronte and used marker pen to highlight the quote about the weather.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Anne Bronte's Grave

"You say May is a trying month, and so say others. The earlier part is often cold enough i acknowledge, but, according to my experience, we are almost certain of some fine warm days in the latter half when the laburnams and lilacs are in bloom; whereas June is often cold and July generally wet. But i have a more serious reason than this for my impatience of delay: the doctors say that a change of air or removal to a better climate would hardly ever fail of success in consumptive cases if 'the remedy were' taken in time, but the reason why there are so many disappointments is, that it is generally deferred till it is too late."

Written by Anne Bronte in a letter to Ellen Nussey on April 5th 1849.

Anne had consumption and was hoping to go to stay at the seaside for her health. However, Charlotte was reluctant for her to go on such a trip - this letter from Anne to Ellen shows how determined Anne was to go. You have to remember that Emily had died in December 1848 and Branwell in September 1848 - Charlotte must not have known what to do to help her sister.

Charlotte, Anne and Ellen went to Scarborough on May 24th where they spent a few days. Anne passed away on May 28th 1849. She is buried at the church of St Mary in Scarborough on the hill overlooking the bay.

I went to visit her grave on Friday last week - a wind swept sight looking over the roof tops to the sea (most of the grave yard has been made into a car park - handy for tourists - how lovely). It must have been so painful for Charlotte to leave her sister there, away from the resting place of the other members of the family buried in Haworth. It is a beautiful plot though - and someone had left a posy of pretty flowers on the grave.

(Anne wasn't wrong about the weather was she - May is trying; June is cold and July generally wet... sounds familiar?)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Hope's Whisper publication

There's a little publication to accompany the exhibition Hope's Whisper at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

It's A5 size and 16 colour pages - and each is hand stamped on the cover.
Jenna Holmes, the Arts Officer for the Bronte Parsonage Museum, has written a forward and it has images throughout showing most of the artwork in the exhibition.

They are for sale in the Museum shop for £3 - a bargain!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Opening Preview

Last night was the preview of Hope's Whisper at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
It was apt that it rained.

However, lots of people braved the weather and came along to see the exhibition - it was really good to see so many people in the Museum.
The exhibition consists of the work in the garden; work in one of the cabinets in the Museum (the Shackleton weather records, the Babbage Report, plus 2 Bronte letters and a Bronte poem); and then 8 framed works in the foyer, along with the weather archive showing all the collected weather cards.

The images above show the three works in the cabinet along with the Shackleton Records.

Thanks to everyone that turned up to celebrate the opening.
The show continues until 5th September.

Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum for times and admission charges to the Museum:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Installing the exhibition

Yesterday we started to install the work for the exhibition ready for the preview tonight.

I started with installing the outside piece of work called '3 Bells'.
It's been fun making this piece of work, but has also given me a full case of brain ache too. The principle is this: there are 3 bells - one rings when it rains, one rings if it's windy and the third rings by solar power. It's a reference to the pseudonyms that the Bronte sisters published their works under: Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell.
When reading their novels i worked out which sister mentioned different weather elements the most - so it turns out that Emily mentions wind the most in Wuthering Heights; Charlotte mentioned precipitation (rain, snow, etc) the most in Jane Eyre and Anne mentions sunshine the most in Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The colour wheels in the exhibition are also based on this too.

The sculpture is situated in the Bronte Museum garden at the front of the house. The solar rotors work even in dull weather (which turns out to be quite handy in this spectacularly awful summer we're having so far), but it has to be a pretty stiff breeze to get the wind one to ring, plus it'll have to rain for a few hours to get the rain bell to sound. Looks like it might ring a few times tonight during the opening...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Wrapped Up

It's the opening of the exhibition on Thursday night - how did that come around so fast?

Anyhow, i'm in that phase of work known in the trade as panic. I have made lists and sub lists off the main lists, but they never seem to get shorter...

Last night i mirror plated my framed works (2 A1 graphs, 3 colour wheels and 3 prints) - although it's a job that needs doing, i never really predict and allow for the amount of time it will take to find the mirror plates - with screws that fit and wont split the wood; a drill bit that's the right size; a screw driver with the right head; tape measure and sharp pencil etc etc... I spent quite a lot of time wandering about the house going back up and down the stairs to look for various tools etc. Anyhow, it's done. And everything is wrapped too, ready to go.

I now just have to finish the three sculptures for the garden, collect and stamp the little catalogue, cut and stamp another 60 archive cards and pack everything ready to get picked up tomorrow morning. Easy.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Haworth Weather Archive x 2

I spent the weekend cutting out index cards for the weather archive - i haven't seen any i like for sale, so in a rash moment i though it would be ok to make my own. So far i've cut out over 200 and then stamped each with a date. My fingers hurt a bit. However they look exactly how i want them.

The booklet went to the printer on Monday and can't wait to see it when it comes back within the week - Thomas Saible, who designed it, has done a beautiful job as always.

I also went to Haworth yesterday to see the weather collectors and collect their cards from the last couple of months. It was good to catch up and i showed them some of the work that will be in the exhibition.

Amongst other things today i'm framing the three colour wheels showing the weather types mentioned in Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Lots to do.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Haworth Weather Archive

All of yesterday i sorted through all the weather cards that my team of volunteer weather collectors have gathered since October 2011.
When i asked the collectors to do a record every day i wondered how many would stick with it - and i presumed we might miss a few days here and there where we were all busy or on holiday etc...

However, i spent the day feeling rather overwhelmed with their dedication and commitment to the project. We have multiple records for everyday - and i suspect there is a couple of collectors who haven't missed one day of recording.
I feel privileged that i've been allowed a little glimpse into the collectors lives - through family events (good and bad), mixed health and everyday issues - they have spent time noting the weather and jotting it down for the archive.

The finished archive will be on display in the Bronte Parsonage Museum during the exhibition - you'll be able to pick a date and see what the weather was doing in Haworth (and surrounding villages) and how it affected everyone on that particular date.