The weather is a key part of living on Earth. It influences us on a daily basis: what to wear, where to go, how we feel. It’s also a popular topic of daily conversation. But weather patterns are rapidly changing, becoming more extreme as a result of the climate crisis. These artists reflect on our relationship with the elements.
The Weather Project | Olafur Eliasson
In 2003, Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) transformed Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall into an immersive space dominated by representations of the sun and sky. The gallery glowed orange, periodically filling with a fine mist and gathering clouds. This installation was a full sensory experience, blending art and social interaction with an interest in, and concern for, the natural world.
Blind Light | Antony Gormley
British sculptor Antony Gormley (b. 1950) describes Blind Light as “the equivalent of being on top of a mountain or at the bottom of the sea.” This installation invited viewers to get lost within a mist-filled, brightly-lit room. “It is very important for me that inside it you find the outside,” Gormley explains. The fog obscures audiences’ vision, creating a disorientating atmosphere.
Nimbus | Berndnaut Smilde
Amsterdam-based Berndnaut Smilde (b. 1978) pulls the sky down to earth. In his Nimbus series, fluffy clouds pop up in unexpected locations – from historic buildings to open fields and underground spaces. Smilde is interested in the transitory nature of the work: it is there for around 10 seconds before it disappears. The photograph is all that remains.
The Snow | Tokujin Yoshioka
The Snow is a 15-metre-wide installation that questions the relationship between humans and nature. By using hundreds of kilograms of feathers, it creates the illusion of a winter storm. Encased in glass, the work recreates the unpredictability of the elements from within a controlled environment. It is designed to evoke the memory of snowfall, probing strong emotions. A chilling vision of the future.
Lead image: Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Green Room, 2013
1. Olafur Eliasson with The Weather Project. Photograph: Dan Chung/The Guardian
2. Antony Gormley, Blind Light, 17 May – 19 August 2007, Hayward Gallery. Image © Stephen White
3. Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Litta, 2013
4. The Snow, Tokujin Yoshioka