The Tetley The Tetley

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Residencies & Projects

Open studio: Redell Olsen, Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants

3 November – 7 November 2021

10:00 – 17:00

Free, No Booking Required

The DARE Art Prize presents Redell Olsen's new body of work, Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants at The Tetley. Join us to view Olsen's visual, text-based and audio-visual work in her open studio.

Weather, Whether Radar: Plume of the Volants engages with the work of BioDAR researchers at the University of Leeds. These scientists are using weather radar to monitor insect biodiversity. With its origins in World War Two, radar is often used to determine information about the weather. The plumes of insects that sometimes show up in this data, most famously on days such as flying ant day, have often been dismissed as just being 'noise'.

Through a consideration of objects from the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and related archives, this body of work tracks and imagines a range of poetic, narrative, historical and cultural noises at the fragile intersections of radar, insects, weather, objects, people, music and film.

The works have involved dialogue with the BioDAR scientists and incorporate materials from their research, alongside additional sources from vintage natural history and fashion magazines. Virginia Woolf's essay, 'The Death of The Moth' and George Frederic Handel's pastoral opera, Acis and Galatea inform the lyrics of an imagined inter-species opera, extracts of which are performed in collaboration with the Chorus of Opera North and bass-baritone Matthew Stiff, as a response to the current climate crisis and environmental degradation.


Redell Olsen is a writer and visual artist whose work includes poetry, bookworks, performance and film. Her books include Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel' (Subpress, 2012) and 'Secure Portable Space' (Reality Street, 2004). In 2018, her film, Now Circa (1918) was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in Film Awards. She is Director of the Poetics Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she lectures on poetry and the visual arts and supervises practice-based research.  In 2020-21 she was the recipient of the DARE Art prize.

A limited edition bookwork relating to the exhibition is available in The Tetley's shop.

The DARE Art Prize, awarded by Opera North and the University of Leeds, challenges artists and scientists to work together on new approaches to the creative process.

With the National Science and Media Museum and The Tetley as associate partners, the prize is awarded to an artist in any discipline and provides the opportunity to work with leading scientific researchers to inform and develop new work.

Courtesy Redell Olsen

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