๐ŸŒŠ STORM & GAIA ๐ŸŒ

Hello wonderful art friends!

In today’s blog I want you to come on an art adventure with me as we get to meet STORM…

STORM, a ten metre tall goddess of the sea, has emerged from the deep to encourage us all to celebrate our seas, care for our coastlines and empower us all to put the environment first. Two years in the making, STORM is a new feat of mechanical mastery created in response to the climate crisis by the formidable puppeteering duo Symon Macintyre and Kim Bergsagel. Made from entirely recycled materials, the giant puppet STORMโ€™s eyes are the colour of oyster shells, her hair thick strands of kelp, her voice the chorus of the waves. Aided by eight puppeteers, STORM will walk the streets of Scotland. She began her journey as part of Celtic Connectionsโ€™ inaugural Coastal Connections Day in January 2020, as one of the first events to mark Scotlandโ€™s official year of Coasts and Waters 2020. Now, following a break as a result of the pandemic, STORM is due to walk again in late summer and autumn 2021. STORM is our most ambitious, challenging, and politically resonant project yet, and we are so thrilled to introduce you to her.

Stuart and I were lucky to catch STORM at a meet and greet at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh in between her busy journey touring through Scotland. You can follow STORM’s journey here.

When we arrived we could see the large crowd forming around a kneeling, sleeping STORM and it was hard to get a good view of her because there were so many people! Not long after we arrived STORM was awoken and stood to gently make her way through the crowd. I was really impressed by the movements created by the puppeteers who were dressed in bright sunny yellow raincoats. While there are mechanical components helping to raise STORM up and down, and to move her forward, all of the other movements were being created by the team down below. It was really impressive to see such a giant sculpture move with beautiful grace!

I was very moved by STORM’s performance and meeting this towering force of the sea was a humbling reminder of the human effects on our oceans, and why we need to be reminded through art like this.

If you want to see the making of STORM you can watch it here and if you want to learn more about the story of STORM you can read that here. I would highly encourage you to try and catch STORM on her journey if you can, she is well worth seeing in person.

On the same day that we met STORM we attended a Planetarium Nights event at Dynamic Earth and were enchanted by the sculpture of Gaia…

Luke Jerram’s Gaia, a spectacular sculpture of Earth, will be floating majestically in the main entrance area of Dynamic Earth, marking its first appearance in Edinburgh. Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter and created from 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface the artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet, floating in three dimensions. The installation aims to create a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. The artwork also acts as a mirror to major events in society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the artwork may provide the viewer with a new perspective of our place on the planet; a sense that societies of the Earth are all interconnected and that we have a responsibility toward one another. After the lockdown, there has been a renewed respect for nature.

Our planet is so beautiful and we are so small. Humans are simultaneously so insignificant and so stupidly important to the future of our pale blue dot. We need to do a lot better.

I have a lot of feelings about the state of our environment. I hope soon to channel it into my art.

Stay tuned…

Much love and maybe pick-up some rubbish off the street today or something okay?
Chloe out.