Head in the Clouds

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One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever… The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to its circuits… – Ecclesiastes

This epigraph to Hemingway’s ‘The Sun also Rises’ crystallises the idea of the eternal and magnificent power of nature in stark contrast to transient human experience. In ‘Asperatus’, an exhibition by Jericho-born photographer Nick White, the awe-inspiring power of nature is captured through a series of cloud formations that the artist witnessed in the local area. There are also rarer phenomena such as comets and upside down rainbows known as circumzenithal arcs.

Art Jericho is a new and independent gallery tucked away behind Walton Street: a real hidden gem. It specialises in painting and original prints, and most importantly has given local artists the recognition they deserve. Nick White is no exception – a former medical photographer, he has developed and refined his vision in pursuit of bold and rare skyscapers that have fascinated him since the age of eight. The result is a competent, engaging and charming collection of photographs backed on aluminium which perfectly capture the transformative and transcendental power of nature.

The space in itself is beautiful, and as the rays of sunlight fill the gallery all at once, the Oxford bubble seems like a distant memory – somewhat ironic given the fact that the vast majority of these photos were taken in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area. One of the many highlights was the eponymous Asperatus, an image of a newly discovered cloud formation which towers majestically over the Oxfordshire countryside. The scientific seamlessly merges with the artistic to produce beautiful and mesmerising photos of the sky, retaining scientific integrity through captions which explain the formations in perfect detail. There is also a photograph of the Northern Lights taken in Buckinghamshire, lunar formations and a still of the cloud that caused the floods in Boscastle.

Warmly recommended, ‘Asperatus’ is the perfect escape from every essay crisis, and is a truly inspirational collection of photographs. Just try not to get lost when trying to find this gallery.

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