Art at the Met Office
Artist(s): Garry Fabian Miller, Lulu Quinn, Shauna McMullan, Michael Wenyon / Susan Gamble and Chris Helson / Sarah Jackets
Client:The Met Office
The Met Office has built an £80m new headquarters in Exeter so creating a working environment that encourages innovation and recognises its ‘world-class’ position as a leader in the fields of meteorology, climatology and environmental science.
Ginkgo has curated and managed the implementation of an art programme that has enabled artists to explore the inter-relationships between art and science. The art programme now has three components based on promoting the work of artists at different scales within the building.
The first element is a large scale commission by Alex Beleschenko. Alex worked with staff from the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research to develop ideas based on chaos theory, using the Lorenz Attractor, a depiction of chaos theory upon which forecasting models have developed. Alex has made two 4.5m glass cylinders placed within the street. The work will enrich the central ‘street’ within the building complex.
The second element of the programme was a series of artist placements. Five artists worked alongside staff exploring aspects of Met Office activities. Met Office staff worked with Garry Fabian Miller, Lulu Quinn, Shauna McMullan, Michael Wenyon / Susan Gamble and Chris Helson / Sarah Jackets. The results are individual responses to a unique organisation and its working life.
A touring exhibition, ‘Elemental Insight’ formed the third platform for engagement. The work of twenty-seven regional artists was curated by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen into a show that inhabited the Met Office over the summer of 2004. The show is now touring to national and regional venues.
A programme of seminars and workshops for staff provided a forum for discussion about the role of artists within a science based organisation.