A writer and artist-in-residence at UCLâ€™s Environment Institute are holding a joint launch for a new book and work of art â€“ linked by the theme of clouds.
Writer-in-residence Richard Hamblynâ€™s bookÂ Extraordinary CloudsÂ is a celebration of unusual cloud formations and atmospheric phenomena.
Artist-in-residence Martin John Callanan has createdÂ A Planetary Order, a terrestrial globe showing clouds around the planet from one single moment in time.
Hamblyn has already written several books on the subject, includingÂ The Invention of Clouds, which won the LA Times Book Prize, and a pictoral guide to cloud formations calledÂ The Cloud Book.
Extraordinary CloudsÂ grew out of his research for the latter as he amassed a collection of images that did not fit into any standard category, such as the uniform streaks of â€˜street cloudsâ€™ and the bulbous â€˜lenticularisâ€™ sometimes mistaken for UFOs.
He said: â€œI had been commissioned to research and writeÂ The Cloud BookÂ (which came out in 2008), using the Met Officeâ€™s amazing photo archive, and I kept coming across weird and wonderful clouds that seemed to defy categorisation, but becauseThe Cloud BookÂ was intended to be a fairly serious pictorial guide to all the clouds listed in the international cloud classification, most of these oddities were left out.
â€œBut I carried on collecting more and more of them, finding them in photo libraries, trawling the internet, asking photographer friends and acquaintances, and within a year I had amassed several hundred pictures of bizarre and beautiful cloud formations.Extraordinary CloudsÂ is the result.â€
Some of the most spectacular images in Hamblynâ€™s book came from The Cloud Appreciation Society, a 17,000-strong group of cloudspotters.
Callananâ€™sÂ A Planetary OrderÂ examines the fragility and interdependence of the Earthâ€™s environmental systems.
The artist, a teaching fellow at UCL Slade School of Fine Art, said: â€œUnlike Richard, whoâ€™s got a fascination with clouds, Iâ€™ve never really considered them before. Iâ€™ve been more interested in systems â€“ systems that define how we live our lives. The idea behind the cloud globe is to show and highlight the fragility of the environmental systems that operate in the world.â€
It was printed at the Digital Manufacturing Centre at the UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment.
â€œThe Digital Manufacturing Centre creates architectural models for students, researchers and commercial clients, but this is the largest object they have ever created and it took two days just to manufacture,â€ said Callanan.
The launch party forÂ Extraordinary CloudsÂ andÂ A Planetary OrderÂ will take place on 30 June in the universityâ€™s main quadrangle at Gower Street.
Extraordinary CloudsÂ is available from all good bookshops andÂ A Planetary OrderÂ will go on display at UCLâ€™s Pearson Building later this summer.
The Environment Institute acts as a focus for interdisciplinary research on the environment at UCL. It exists to improve links between the UCL research community, policymakers and private sector interests. It aims to identify the environmental concerns that will drive future policy agendas, and to contribute the science required to address them.