Under the Same Sky exhibition at Higgins Bedford opens this weekend

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Under the Same Sky Higgins Bedford art
Alfred Sisley, Fete Day at Marly-le-Roi

The first new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford since lockdown will open this Saturday (3 October) exploring artists’ depictions of the sky and the local impact of the weather.

Under the Same Sky is an art and social history exhibition drawing on work from internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Art Gallery collection.

Artists have always found inspiration in the unpredictable nature of the weather and this new exhibition will feature storms, calm skies, rain drenched cities, sun worship and visions of the moon in the works of artists such as JMW Turner, Alfred Sisley, Paul Nash and Edouard Manet.

Covering over 200 years of art, Under the Same Sky explores how the weather has been harnessed as a thematic device to intensify emotions, forecast tragedy, depict the changing seasons and capture the beauty of idyllic landscapes.

The Higgins has also uncovered stories of local pioneers in the development of weather forecasting over the centuries.

Highlights include the founders of the National Royal Meteorological Society and the weather forecasters for the airships at Cardington.

Visitors can explore the history of extreme weather in Bedfordshire and its effects on changing river levels and habitats for wildlife, from the floods caused by the deep melting snow in 1947 to the Easter floods of 1998.

A film, Into the Woods, with images and music produced by Invisible Folk Club and funded by Arts Council England, compliments the artworks and stories being shared.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said, “This is the first new exhibition to open since The Higgins Bedford reopened following its closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are lots of measures in place to keep visitors safe while enjoying this new fascinating exhibition, bringing a new perspective on something that we all experience every day- the weather, as well as all the other remarkable displays in our local museum and art gallery.”

The Higgins Bedford has been working in collaboration with The Meteorological Research Unit at Cardington, Bedfordshire Archives, the Airship Heritage Trust and members of the public to present this exhibition.

Visitors must book a free time entry ticket in advance by visiting www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk. Visitors who are unable to book online can book over the telephone on 01234 718044 Monday – Friday from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

In the last five years, The Higgins Bedford has loaned art works from the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery collection to 21 different museums including international venues in France, Spain, Canada and America.

Currently, a drawing by Aubrey Beardsley is on display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and two watercolours by JMW Turner will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at Tate Britain.

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