A 4.5 metre wide painting panel, with a black foresail, shaped to echo the rig of the Royal Charter was sited on a coastal position near to the location of the wreck off Moelfre, East Anglesey.

 

 

 

 

The painting panel was double sided. On one side, a depiction of the storm which wrecked the Royal Charter. On the other side, a depiction of a dead, calm day at sea. The two paintings were created in Anthony Garratt’s studio over two months; the time it was supposed to take the Royal Charter to reach Liverpool, from Melbourne. 

 

The painting panel pivoted on a central mast with each change in wind direction; effectively like a giant weather vane. It is a form of roulette as to whether the viewer can see the depiction of the calm day, or the depiction of the Royal Charter Storm; just as the weather was a form of roulette on that fateful night, before the days of weather forecasting.

With each pivot and change of direction in the wind, the painting panel communicated data to a website which each day, at 17.55, (The time of the uk shipping forecast), drew an arc representing the change in wind direction, onto a circle.

 

After two months (the time it was meant to take the Royal Charter to reach Liverpool, from Melbourne) of ‘wind arcs’ being drawn, the lines were flattened into a musical score to be performed and recorded by concert violinist Philippa Mo, accompanying a Welsh Male Voice Choir.

Former National Poet for Wales, Gillian Clarke wrote a poem about the installation which feature in the composition.

The performance and culmination of the installation was on 26 October, the 160 year anniversary of the Royal Charter Storm.

 

In effect, the wind powered not only the viewing experience but also composes a piece of music dedicated to those who lost their lives in the storm and rescue efforts, which shall be entitled ‘To All At Sea | I Bawb Yn N Mor’.

 © 2019 ANTHONY GARRATT