New Expressions Engagement Project: Weather Report Day ONE

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We began our exploration of the sky in the gallery surrounded by Uta’s huge photographs of eagle eggs. We discussed eagles, how they behave, feed and nest. Geoff and Joan had brought along a photograph they had taken of the eagle at Haweswater and Sue found images of eagles flying very low, leading to much discussion about their strength, their beauty and their talons!

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A map of Cumbria focused the group on the landscape that we are exploring, but this is a map with a difference! The map has been scumbled with paint to create a feeling of looking down through wisps of cloud to the landscape below. It has also been collaged with fragments of weather and shipping forecasts and the wonderful language contained within the Beaufort Scale. It will be a focus as we continue the project. We passed around egg shaped forms made out of wood, felt and wire as Harriet read beautiful poetry…’up with me, up with me into the clouds…’ and an extract from Alice in Wonderland…’when clouds go rolling by, they roll away and leave the sky…’…..then away from the gallery, into the coach and up to Orton Scar for panoramic sky views.

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Everyone had an iPad and after a few reminders about how they work and an invitation to film the sky as well as take still photographs, the viewfinders were fixed on the environment around us….and what an environment!

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The sky was incredible and the group took some amazing photographs.

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From the brightest of blues and light and airiness to a huge looming cloud full of foreboding weather! Everyone enjoyed looking at the photographs we’d taken.

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We even took some lovely photographs of clouds in puddles!

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Then it was down to the Orton Scar Cafe for tea and cake. Harriet was carrying a cloud bag, a bag full of words from the poetry she had read aloud, and as words were passed round, we were all asked to create a sentence that included the words we held.

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‘Floods of joy, so glad I came! A day to remember for ever.’ Harriet is a word weaver – she will ‘word weave’ another blog to share more of this beautiful language!

Over tea, we all looked again at our photography and films and listened as John read aloud the groups sentences – a wonderful way of describing the feelings and impressions that the weather evoked. Then back to Kendal through beautiful valleys and views across the tops of hedgerows to the immense sky above.

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