25 April 2010

Cloud Atlas


Its strange that I mentioned clouds in my last post, and then the effects of one should cause so much disruption and media frenzy in the past couple of weeks.  I was on holiday in Cornwall when the flying ban was in place and I have to say it was wonderful to see the beautiful blue sky without any vapour trails.

I feel sorry about all the negative repercussions, like transplant organs being delayed and African farm workers being laid off, but  there's something to be said for being reminded that we are far from omnipotent and lack the means to control the natural forces of our planet.

All this cloud interest reminded me of a book I made early in 2009 but hid away because it didn't turn out how I imagined it would.  As you can see, the book is a kind of cloud atlas.


I'd been reading David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas and also studying The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney and contemplating the wonderful variety of clouds that drift over the moors of Calderdale where I live.  During that same period I had to reorganise my studio and was wondering what to do with a stack of air mail envelopes I bought from a closing down Stationers, a pile of old security envelopes and an elderly UK road atlas...


Living in an upland region, you really notice how the clouds come swooping down the valleys and their huge dark shadows move across the hillsides in stately progression. I wanted to make my paper clouds 3D in some way, so that they cast shadows within the book.


Although I did achieve this to a certain extent, it took me ages and the shadow-casting wasn't as evident as I'd hoped and doesn't show up at all in these useless photos!  The plan was to remake the book after more concentrated study in paper engineering, but mostly I forgot all about it.  Maybe one day...  But in the meantime, revisiting my little cloud atlas I like it more than I did before.


7 April 2010

Blackbird's Beautiful Song





Thank goodness for the cheerful blackbird whose early morning song has lifted my heart  these last few days whilst I've been stuck in bed ill.  

The enforced rest provided an opportunity to read David Mitchell's novel 'Cloud Atlas' again. I still think its a fine piece of work, the characters and created worlds resonating for a long time afterwards.