The Storm Tamers at
ANAIS Tondeur couldnít help
but be blown away by the wild winds on top of Fort
Dunree when she first visited Artlinkís site as
International Artist in Residence in 2018. It quickly
began to inform her work during the residency, which
included a workshop with the local community to explore
new rituals as a way of reflecting our contemporary
relationship with the earth and natural elements. 'The
Storm Tamerís Collection' was born from this experience
and has evolved into a collaborative project between
visual artist AnaÔs Tondeur and interdisciplinary
designer and musician Yesenia Thibault-Picazo.
The exhibition plays off a
subject of contemporary concern Ė climate change and our
related quest to control our environment. AnaÔs and
Yesenia have taken an anthropological view of this most
human of impulses and explored narratives that revolve
around the ability to control the weather. There are
many objects and practices represented in the
collection, spanning time and continents. These stories
of the 'tempestarii' or 'storm tamers' are captured
within and represented by a series of physical objects
that make up The Storm Tamerís Collection. The
collection was gathered through calls to contribute,
public workshops and site specific research highlighting
local folklore and rites around one natural element.
The collection includes fascinating items such as a
three knots magic rope. This rope would be provided by
witches in Northern Europe to sailors, to safeguard them
while at sea. Legend has it that undoing the first knot
would raise a gentle breeze, the second a strong wind,
but the third should remain tied, because to undo it
would call up a mighty storm. To this day, some sailors
still mention a 2rope to turn the wind".
Another object featured is an ancient pot, a charm to
prevent storms from damaging crops. Inside the pot would
be buried a toad in new soil and the pot was then buried
in the middle of a field to ward off inclement weather.
There is a horn to reflect tales from medieval
literature, where the storm is often associated with a
horn; in Wonders of Rogmer the sound of the horn makes
fish and whales tremble, bringing storm clouds of snow
and lashing rain.
Today we are enthralled by the promises of our
scientists and engineers to develop solutions to harness
the power of the sun, cool the atmosphere or seed the
clouds with rain; this collection is a timely reminder
that our hopes and human frailties in the face of
unconquerable nature is nothing new.
This fascinating insight into the stories of the
tempestarii, will be exhibited at the Saldanha Gallery
at Fort Dunree from 1st to 29th August, 2021. Regular
tours of the exhibition will happen daily between
10.30am and 4.30pm. No need to book.