You can find this artwork in our Wild Cornwall exhibit in a tranquil spot on the Slopes of Earthly Treasures in our Outdoor Gardens.
Cloud Chamber, 2002
Granite and Delabole Slate
Cloud Chamber is one of a series of artworks by Drury that are made within and from the surrounding landscape, in the tradition of the land and environmental art movements originating in 1960s America.
The site-specific chambers are based on the principle of the camera obscura, a natural optical phenomenon that occurs when rays of light, which travel in straight lines, invert through a small opening and project onto a surface.
The beehive chamber, built by local dry-stone hedgers, was constructed from nearly 120 tonnes of Cornish granite and slate. A dark passageway leads to a small inner chamber where the open sky moves silently across the floor.
Drury describes feeling an emotive jolt upon first seeing images of white clouds drifting across a page of paper when he began to experimenting with the camera obscura. The Cloud Chambers are still, silent and meditative spaces, where the surrounding environment is encapsulated within the confines of human-scale. On the outside the work is an object, built of and in the landscape, inside it is an experience. Drury encourages viewers to engage with this very meditative experience which allows all thoughts beyond the moment to cease.
Chris Drury (born in Colombo, Sri Lanka 1948) is a British environmental artist. He is most recognised for site specific nature-based sculpture, often referred to as Land Art or Art in Nature.
Drury harnesses multi-disciplinary processes to forge connections between nature and humanity, inner and exterior, microcosm and macrocosm. Often collaborating with scientists and specialists from a broad spectrum of expertise across technology and material innovation.
His body of work includes ephemeral assemblies of natural materials as well as permanent landscape art, works on paper and interior installations. What drives all these works is the context, which gives rise to form, material and the process in which he engages.
Drury has exhibited internationally, with solo and group presentations in museums and institutions such as Oppland Art Centre, Norway, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington and The Serpentine Gallery, London. He has been awarded a number of notable major public commissions globally, including The Wandering, Perth, Australia and Heart of Reeds, Lewis, East Sussex, UK. In 2018, Drury was awarded The Lee Krasner Award in recognition of a lifetime of artistic achievement.