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The Storm

I’ve been working on a final set of mosaics which will bring an end to a “concept album” of work. There are over 40 mosaics in my album (some of which you can see on my website) and they will soon be produced in a book I hope to publish through “Blurb” before Christmas.

The Storm is one of the final mosaics.

My original idea for The Storm was as a series of 5 large stained glass  mosaics and a subsequent video. It was inspired by a cold windy autumnal day last year with many birds flying high in the distance. Every so often the sun would send shafts of coloured light from behind the clouds, catching the birds wings so they appeared to “flash” as they flew. The weather was changeable that day and soon the clouds that came across were heavier and the birds disappeared into them. But then came the rain, great long hard drops of it and as I ducked my head under my jacket I felt as if it wasn’t raindrops hitting me but bits of swooping birds. It was a real Daphne du Maurier/ Hitchcock moment.

I felt as if the storm was caused by the birds, the storm was the birds, the birds were the storm …

Unfortunately I couldn’t make 5 mosaics as my budget wouldn’t stretch to it (I tried to win an award to pay for it but was unsuccessful) so I decided to make 1 mosaic and incorporate the whole concept and changing sky.

I’m pleased I did this as I am pleased with the outcome and quite excited by it.

But on planning the design I came across some mind mangling problems and thoughts. This was my first quick coloured pastel sketch.

Thinking about the sky without a horizon of distant land or sun seemed to turn my ideas of perspective upside down, back to front and inside out.

First, would I illustrate the sky so that it had distance or depth, both, or something else? If it was to have distance then the supposed horizon (at the bottom of the picture) would be the furthest point and there the birds would be smaller, just like in my mosaic “Gathering Darkness” and so I colour sketched this picture.

This would also give it depth but only into the distance. What if I wanted the depth to be above me and the storm and the birds to come down on me? So I sketched this picture.

Then I struggled to decide which drawing to use. Perhaps the first is most understandable and the second is more abstract, but the latter seems to be more interesting. It also describes what happened that day. And not only does it “feel” as if the storm was coming down on me, but it also looks like a view of the sky from the sky, as if I am viewing it from above, perhaps from a plane or a bird.

The Storm (view 1)

The iridescent black glass represents the flickering birds in the rays of sunshine. If you walk past the mosaic the birds flicker and move…

The Storm (view 2)

This is one of my new mosaics that will be included in my exhibition “Crust” with Marcelo de Melo at Bath Artists Studio Gallery fro 23 – 28 October.

I am working on an accompanying video …stay tuned


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