Projects

The Black Cloud

The Black Cloud, 2009. Heather & Ivan Morison. Photo: Wig Worland.

Synopsis

The Black Cloud was a unique temporary structure designed by internationally acclaimed artists Heather and Ivan Morison. The structure was designed in readiness for a future boiling Bristol, baked dry by a relentless burning sun

Description

The Black Cloud was a unique temporary structure designed by internationally acclaimed artists Heather and Ivan Morison. The structure was designed in readiness for a future boiling Bristol, baked dry by a relentless burning sun. The Black Cloud was informed by vernacular architecture built to withstand extreme environmental conditions, with the Yakisugi treatment of the timbers, which created a scorched, protective shield.

The Black Cloud was installed in Victoria Park on Saturday 25 July when the artists led a crew of local volunteers coupled with skilled labour to build the remarkable structure from dawn till dusk. The Shape of Things to Come Barn-raising the Black Cloud was the first of three events initiated by the artists which involved raising the structure and celebrating the arrival of the shelter through communal feasting and music, reflecting the traditional Finnish talkoot and Amish barn-raising.

The programme of events continued with How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years a lively debate held in the structure to explore our future in the face of dramatic climate and economic change. The final event Black Dog Times involved the artists collaborating with Bristol based puppet company Full Beam Visual Theatre to create a carnivalesque winter wake which celebrated the last day of The Black Cloud and the ends of time.

Heather and Ivan Morison

Heather and Ivan Morison live and work in Brighton and North Wales. Their work has been exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, including Tate Britain and the British Art Show 6. In 2007, they represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale and their workI’m So Sorry. Good-bye was exhibited at the Barbican as part of Radical Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969–2009. For more information, visit www.morison.info.

Situations

Situations is an art commissioning and research programme which operates from a University base, but produces artworks, events and publications outside the academic context. The programme was initiated in October 2003 by Claire Doherty, who is Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of the West of England, Bristol. From the start, the programme’s guiding principles were to combine the ambition of a commissioning agency model with the critical rigiour of an academic research centre. We believe that artists have the capacity to bring something we might never have imagined to a particular place and we are committed to realising those dreams. Curating is far more than project management to us. It is a creative, critical and often passionate undertaking where we seek to understand the best possible means through which to support an artist to make an outstanding work of art in response to a specific situation.

 

  • Commissioner

    Situations, The University of the West of England, Bristol

  • Produced by

    N/A

  • Partners

    Bristol City Council Parks and Sustainability Unit, Victoria Park Action Park, The RSA and Full Beam Visual Theatre

  • Supported by

    Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Bristol City Council Parks and Sustainability Unit and Spike Island Art Space