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The Storm Tamers at Fort Dunree 30.07.21

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.
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