The Cloud Horizon
5 - 16 October 2016
Opening Wednesday 5 October, 6.30-8pm
"In this body of work - The Cloud Horizon - I want to refocus our attention on the clouds we find in our natural world; to reclaim them from the digital world where ‘the cloud’ is a place we store ‘packets of data’ in energy hungry mainframes many thousands of kilometres from our homes.
The horizon is central to these paintings – that imaginary line that depicts the boundary between different physical states: land and sky; sea and sky; land and cloud; and when seen from above, cloud and cloud. The horizon can also be a standard we set for ourselves, something we are always travelling towards, but not able to quite reach.
More ominously, the horizon can represent a limit – a point of no return - that once reached, pulls us into a vortex of destruction. The Cloud Horizon for me is a way to ponder what will become of clouds when we reach the point of no return with climate change.
I started this work after a road trip to Robe in South Australia in late autumn 2014 and finished it after another road trip in 2015, around the same time of year, from Perth to Broome via Karijini National Park in Western Australia. On both trips we spent some time travelling through soft, cloudy rainy days. The clouds seemed to be hugging the horizon. They were comforting clouds. the stratus clouds that form when warm air rolls in over cooler ground, forcing the moisture in them to condense, and depending on the temperature, to fall as rain or hail or snow or mist.
These are the clouds that we look for on the horizon when we are waiting for rain, and are happy to see them.
I wonder what will become of these clouds as we travel rapidly and unpredictably towards the climate change horizon. Will we long to see them and the life giving water they bring, and will we also dread them as they hang around for days releasing a deluge of destruction?"
Helen Martin, September 2016
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