Michael Fairclough

Meteorological Office Commission

Meteorological Office, Exeter, 2004
"On the curved wall of the boardroom the evening sun is immediately flanked by two afternoon images and at the outer edges by a pair of mornings. Scanning from left to right we see the gathering and dispersal of clouds around the whorl of the sun, a shift from violet to turquoise, and a fold in time – morning, afternoon, evening, afternoon, morning. The central view includes a pair of sun-dogs, images of the sun created by sunlight refracting through ice crystals in a haze of cloud. They occur when the sun is low in the sky and at the edges of a luminous halo. These mock suns hang, as rainbows do, nowhere. They are the effect of a point of view. The phenomenon and the painting resemble old cosmological drawings, as if the sky has sketched upon itself great orbits, tangents and notations. From the symbolic vantage point of the Isle of Man, roughly at the centre of the geographical-meteorological territory known as the British Isles, Fairclough's painting does what the eye cannot and lets us stare straight into the sun."
Shirley MacWilliam, Art at the Met Office, 2004

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