— May 11, 2012 —
We unveil our favourite post on AnOther Loves, and interview its contributor
Cloud Greeting Card From The Cloud Appreciation SocietyWith all this overcast and rainy weather of late, it is no wonder that these Cloud Greeting Cards, chosen by Patternity’s Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, have been voted most Loved on the AnOther Loves stream. Featuring five different illustrations of cloud formations by woodcut artist Bill Sanderson and a short description of the cloud type shown, these folded gift cards are available from the Cloud Appreciate Society’s The Cloud Shop. Fighting “‘blue sky thinking’: life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day”, the Society – of which you can sign up to be a member – seeks to celebrate the beauty in clouds: “Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked,” reads their manifesto.
In meteorology, a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body. They can show convective development like cumulus, appear in layered sheets such as stratus, or take the form of thin fibrous wisps, as in the case of cirrus. (For a list of the main cloud types, also known as Genera, see The Cloud Appreciation Society’s Cloud Collector’s Reference here).
In contemporary art, Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale sculptures and installations – which navigate between nature and technology, and call into play natural phenomena – have included various cloud series. These cloud-like formations of mist or haze serenely float in various spaces, emerging and disappearing to magical effect. Artist Berndnaut Smilde has also exhibited his indoor cloud installations globally, using a smoke machine combined with indoor moisture and dramatic lighting. In stark contrast, artist Cory Arcangel’s Super Mario Clouds, 2002 was created by modifying an old Mario Brothers cartridge so that everything from the moving image video game was erased but the clouds.
Fashion has also paid homage to the humble cloud, notably by fashion photographers Guy Bourdin (in his 1968 image of model Cathee Dahmen), Tim Walker (in various shoots for Vogue) and Ryan McGinley (for his July 2007 W Magazine shoot featuring Kate Moss). In 2009 Stella McCartney revealed a capsule collection featuring Sir Peter Blake’s 1967 cloud-print, Christopher Kane encorporated a digital cloud print in his Resort 2010 collection and for S/S12 Walter Van Beirendonck featured sculptural cloud-like pieces and appropriately entitled his collection "CLOUD #9".
Here AnOther speaks to Patternity’s Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham about their appreciation of clouds, their favourite cloud watching spots and the ever-changing patterns of clouds...
What made you choose to Love these Cloud Greeting Cards on AnOther Loves?
These cards are quite simple reminders of the beauty in the everyday, and often unnoticed - this is fundamental to what Patternity is about. Anything that draws attention to our everyday surroundings is important to us and should be celebrated! And of course – clouds make for wonderful and ever changing patterns!
Are you members of the Cloud Appreciation Society, endeavouring to "fight blue sky thinking”?
Everyone at Patternity is a member of the society, we like to support those championing the everyday as it's such an important part of what we stand for. For us and in all the work we do as a creative studio/consultancy it's important to challenge the accepted and embrace new ways of thinking about and positively engaging with the world and each other.
What is the best shape or formation you’ve seen in clouds – when and where?
We hosted a Patternity field trip to the Croatian hills last summer and we were lucky to witness frequent electrical storms high up over the mountains where we were staying. As the light changed the towering “cumulo nimbus” turned a dramatic orange, billowing into pink then swirling into purple then fading into huge dark rumbles of thunder and flashing forked sparks which lit up the landscape.
Where is your favourite place to cloud watch?
There is something really special when watching clouds from above. It can be both baffling and beautiful to be able to look down at the sky and can offer a new perspective and sense of scale on the world. Travelling from A-B can be a wonderful time for reflection and contemplation watching the clouds change and drift by beneath with no distractions...
What other products from The Cloud Shop are on your wish list?
The wall poster and the cloud spotting book are definitely on our list – it's such a pleasure to be able to able to know the names of the clouds when spotting… but also the DVD of stunning time-lapse cloud sequences sounds like a welcome watch after a long day at the studio.
What climate are you happiest in?
Although it's tempting to say hot and sunny! The unexpected nature of the weather and skies would be missed if we did have blue skies everyday. We were fortunate enough to work in Australia several times last year and enjoyed the diversity of the seasons there and the huge expanses of skies. As a culture they are so in tune with nature. Some of the most spectacular natural but also man made patterns we have ever seen we noticed there.
With the weather forecast to be showery for the foreseeable future what are your rain product essentials?
We're actually working on a collaboration with an umbrella manufacturer at present which we'll be launching next spring – so watch this space! But in the mean time – it has to be the classic plastic patterned granny rain bonnets.
Text by Lucia Davies