Accidentally, while creating a colour memory, colour wheel, I created an image of an imaginary beast which very much conformed to my imaginings of Storm Eunice as she hit land in Plymouth. She didn’t stay in Plymouth long and did less physical harm locally, than she did further in land. I call her Screaming Eunice because of the high pitched wailing and booming that accompanied her arrival from the Atlantic, alongside the record breaking gusts of wind and physical damage.
Unknown to us Screaming Eunice brought something else with her. We saw the the effect but didn’t know the reason until later. The dogs were mostly unpeterbed by their initial walk in Eunice. After the walk I settled down to paint my visual record of the morning walk. Hugo and Lola were snuggled in the studio dozing their way through Eunice at her worst. Without warning Lola woke up and was inconsolable, nothing would settle her. Forty minutes later she could only be calm when snuggled on a human. Unknown to us Eunice brought a huge amount of strange and wonderful smells. Scent is Lolas absolute favourite thing in the world. Eunice however brought so much unusual perfume, poor little Lola was overwhelmed . We only realised when her Stylist put up a message on Facebook.
So, stranger things have happened than me naming a storm, Screaming Eunice and then painting her. It turns out that Screaming Eunice also has body odour issues. Who knew?
Well Eunice was quite the storm yesterday. Living on a historically fortified peninsular of rock that juts into Plymouth Sound during the worst storm for more than thirty years was always going to be interesting. Made even more so by needing to create a colour mind map of my daily walk using all my senses. Eunice hit land further down the coast at Sennen and barrelled her way across the country via the Bristol Channel. So we were not exactly in the eye of the storm, that said it was a weather event when not doing anything too adventuresome was advisable.A morning dog walk introduced me to Eunice and she was not happy
Eunice screamed between the elegant Georgian houses, screams of distress and melancholy. She boomed against fortifications built by Henry VIII and dumped water on concrete defences built for the many wars and skirmishes that Britain has been involved in. Eunice was not a happy woman. By the time we reached our favourite coffee shop she had taken to flinging dustbins into the air and overwhelming the small boats resting in protected harbours.
All this on a day that I was being ‘aware’ of my walk with all my senses so I could create a colour map of the experience. Certainly not in any sense topographically accurate but definitely synesthesically so.There are also two actual cultural references. I didnt hear bright red on the walk yesterday but I knew we were under a red warning with a strict advisory not to venture too far. It would have suited me far better artistically and synesthesically if the warning had stayed at amber.The synesthesia of a warm coffee shop was altogether a huge deliciously cacophonic callaloo of colours and sensations, as was the whole day, but I chose to depict it with the logo and tranquil white. A place of sanctuary in a world of sliding, feral, dustbins.
So welcome to my sketch of Screaming Eunice. Done quickly while she screamed in my ears. Topographically inaccurately drawn, it is a distillation of a moment in time and location. Sound, sensations, colours, geography and great coffee all in one picture.
The big P.S to all this storm chat.
I am very aware of the cultural appropriation in this blog. I work at a museum, The Box, and have spent months in the company of the Songlines Exhibition. A masterpiece ( mostly mistresspieces) of Indigenous, Australian peoples art. The image I created looks like a rip off, it isn’t deliberately so.
The word Callaloo- a word gleaned from a Trinidadian work friend, she used it to describe the mixed up chaos of our work environment ( operating theatres) after a heavy night at the office. It is a word I use often in my head when synesthesia and real life collide.
A Callaloo is a Trinidadian vegetable stew. It is also used by Trinidadians to describe the rich cultural life of their island created by the historic blending of people of many different heritages. The word is also used, by Trinidadians to describe a muddle or mixture. Something my head is all too familiar with.