Rain (Thuwal) 2015

This is the second D+S pavilion dedicated to the phenomenon of rain.  It was commissioned as a permanent feature for the new campus of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), at Thuwal, a dessert location in Saudi Arabia.  RAIN takes the form of a small building in the universal shape of a water vessel and that of a round house (known in Scotland as a Keep). The structure is clad in thousands of tiny green ceramic tiles the colour of sphagnum moss, the most water absorbent plant on earth.

Inside the coolness of the artwork, a vast collection of different rain sounds can be heard. The sounds were recorded in Scotland over a period of year, here there is an abundance of rain that takes many forms from fine mist to heavy thunderstorms. The building creates a shadowed space that circulates air and is 15º cooler than it’s outdoor surroundings. The work relates to landscape and climate in two very different countries, one where it rains somewhere everyday of the year; and another where there is virtually no rain at all. The artwork creates a space for contemplation about our shared atmosphere, of abundance and scarcity, and the value of each.

The rain recordings incorporated in this work were made in collaboration with the architect Graeme Hutton and the sound artist Mark Vernon.

Commissioned by Urban Art Projects, Australia, for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.