Monday, February 17, 2014

Art recording 'The Deluge of 1607' and 'Winter Storms in 2014'

The recent flooding in the UK make a post I wrote three years ago about Portraying the Bristol Channel Floods 1607 on my Art of the Landscape blog relevant again.

Interestingly this also occurred in January.

Woodcut image from
"A true report of certaine wonderfull ouerflowings of Waters, now lately in Summerset-shire, Norfolke and other places of England...",
printed in London 1607

I wonder if the Winter Weather of 2014 will generate similar drawings, paintings and prints about the flooding around the UK and the amazing coastal storm waves in the months to come?

Or the amazing cold weather being experienced in North America?

Or does the omnipresent photographer recording events as they unfold eliminate the need to reproduce the impact of this winter's weather in art?

Does the artist have a place in telling the story of the Winter Storms of 2014?

Do you have any plans for any artwork?


  1. Hi Katherine, I have been reading your blog for ages, and have it on the sidebar of my own blog, but I don't know if I've ever got around to leaving a comment...yep, one of those lurkers :-)
    But I just had to comment on this post with the illustration of the flood in 1607 - how fascinating! The people back then wouldn't have been carrying on about global warming, I bet! Can I have your permission to link this post to my blog?

  2. I hope the mentality is NOT that this is ONLY the place of the photographer to record epic events.
    By virtue of their mediums the artist would have a different take on the subject since it requires a unique thought process (and time) to produce.

    I should point out there is at least one artist who has already done a great little pen and ink drawing as a result of your UK flooding. The drawing in fact records the event in a way photo can't.

    I hope he does more. The artist, Rob Wilson, and the drawing can be found at DailyPaintworks and his blog "Rob R Wilson Fine Pen Drawing in Cornwall"

    Fortunately there are plenty of artists who do record our daily lives and events with their art. It remains to be seen if they take on this kind of event.

    I worry that any reluctance might stem from the subject itself. It is not considered a pretty subject so are the artists concerned about how they would be received and even sales. So is it too risky?
    Even Rob Wilson seems to express some guilt(?) in his post for venturing out to see the damage and that might be reflective of our collective mentality.

    I could see any of the urban sketchers out there tackling it, as well as any plein air painter doing studies and developing paintings from them.

    Charley Parker has a recent post on a war artist that is similar in vain to this kind of art and Stephen Magsig of course has been painting our global economic meltdown through his visions of his hometown of Detroit for years.
    I did a series of burned landscapes based on the wildfires we see every year here in the southwest of the United States. How could I not, it is part of our life here, but I have been surprised at how little attention they received compared to my other subjects.
    Does the general public only want art that reminds them of the good things in life?

    Not all art should only be of the beautiful landscape etc. There is more.

  3. I know that inthe days after the bushfires in Canberra, 2003, I made a lot of drawings etc, took stacks of photos which did get translated into finished pieces. If nothing else it helped
    me come to terms with a very difficult experience. While we were OK some 500 houses in our city were destroyed by the fires.

    on a slightly less personal note one of the most well known paintings of a flood in Australia is Piguent's 'Flood on the Darling (River)

  4. I had a similar idea today about looking back at the way artists have represented flooding in the past. It was just an off hand curiosity but when I looked it up I found the parallels really striking, it was incredibly how clearly the art of the past evoked the photographs that have taken the front pages the last couple on months. Take a look: Also I had a look at 'Votedwithourforks' painting suggestion 'Flood on the Darling' it's beautiful thanks!

  5. Thank you Rebecca - I've posted a link to that blog post on my Facebook page


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN OPENED AGAIN for the weekly "Who Painted This" post on a Sunday. Comments are moderated and will only be published once a week on a Sunday.
Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there but please note
1) anonymous comments are NEVER published
2) automated / spam / scam comments are never ever published on this blog
3) I ALWAYS block and report spammers to Google and/or on Facebook