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National Gallery of Canada presents Liam Gillick: A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station)

October 6, 2022–October 1, 2026

The World Weather Network (WWN), a revolutionary network of “weather stations” dispersed throughout the world in oceans, deserts, mountains, farming, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses, and towns, has announced a new weather station on Fogo Island created by artist Liam Gillick. Artists and writers from 28 different arts groups from around the world make up WWN.

A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station), by Liam Gillick, was created in 2022 with the intention of serving as an actual weather station for Fogo Island. It collects local meteorological information and serves as a forum for learning, introspection, and conversation. The weather station is open for visitors, and the site and work are both accessible.

The National Gallery of Canada is purchasing this piece as part of its National Outreach program, which is generously funded by Michael Nesbitt and involves placing and maintaining pieces from the collection in locations around the nation. The piece will be on display on the island until October 2026, with stewards appointed during this time thanks to the kind support of Steven & Lynda Latner.

“Fogo Island has a front-row seat on the Labrador Current for observing changes to events such as the annual passage of icebergs in ‘Iceberg Alley,’” said Nicolaus Schafhausen, Fogo Island Arts. “With approximately 40% of the world’s population living in coastal communities, monitoring the changing weather in these communities is becoming increasingly critical.” Claire Shea, Fogo Island Arts, added “It also could function as a site for school visits to further the understanding of the role that scientific modelling and data gathering play in relation to climate.”

“Art has always been used to understand and elevate our environment. This project brings together so many new perspectives that will accelerate critical thinking about our current crisis. I am interested in the science of the climate crisis. My project is to collect data to feed into the global system. I always want to accentuate the clear maths and science that have long proved the catastrophic changes that we all face,” said Liam Gillick

“My father used to say in the seventies that the winters were changing. He used to say winter would come and stay all winter, now, one day it’s -20 and the next day it’s +10,” said Fogo Island resident, Norm Foley.

“We are excited to collaborate with Liam Gillick and Fogo Island Arts on this innovative program,” said Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Manager National Outreach, National Gallery of Canada. “As the first of a series of National Outreach activities, this project supports ways in which art can be used to educate, engage and inform. The local connections developed through initiatives like this are invaluable to the mandate of the Gallery.”

Offering different ways of looking at, listening to, and living with the weather, writers and artists’ weather reports will be shared on the World Weather Network platform from each location: the Himalayas, the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq and the desert of the Arabian peninsula; the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the “Great Ocean of Kiwa” in the South Pacific; “Iceberg Alley” off the coast of Newfoundland, the waters of the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Circle; a tropical rainforest in Guyana and farmland in Ijebu in Nigeria. Artists and writers are working in observatories in Kanagawa in Japan and Manila in the Philippines; looking at cloud data in China and lichens in France; lighthouses on the coast of Peru, the Basque Country and the Snaefellsness Peninsula in Iceland; and cities including DhakaIstanbulJohannesburgLondon and Seoul

A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station), 2022 is curated by Claire Shea and Nicolaus Schafhausen of Fogo Island Arts in collaboration with Josée Drouin-Brisebois of the National Gallery of Canada.

Fogo Island Arts
210 Main Street, Joe Batt’s Arm
Newfoundland and Labrador A0G 2X0
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