How's the Weather in London?

Artwork: The Weather Project

Artist Olafur Eliasson

Year: October 2003 – March 2004

Medium: monofrequency lights, projection foil, haze machines, mirror foil, aluminium and scaffolding.

Location: Tate Modern, London


Every year since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the museum has commissioned a large-scale installation to take pride of place in its large Turbine Hall.

One of Tate’s most memorable Turbine Hall commissions was none other than Olafur Eliasson’s ‘The Weather Project,’ pictured above.

Inspired by the idea that weather is something which everyone experiences, even in a city, and as Brits – a subject we LOVE talking about - The Weather Project was Eliasson’s way of bring the weather inside to experience it in a new realm.

Eliasson created a large semi-circle of light at the end of the hall and pumped mist into the space. Both elements were then reflected on the mirrored ceiling the artist installed within the space. By doing this, it not only allowed the light installation to appear as the sun, but the mist’s reflections gave the installation the appearance of a heat wave! This too was further emphasised by the burning orange and yellow hues of the light throughout the darkened hall. Clever, eh?

Visitors were invited into the space not knowing what to expect – the artist refused to use images for the installation in Tate’s marketing campaign - instead, he wanted visitors to spend time with the work, encouraging them to lie down in the space and ponder what this experience meant to them.

Eliasson is a Danish–Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. Although temporary, The Weather Project is one of the artist’s most famous works. It has never been re-installed anywhere else when it was taken down in 2004.

J0 McLaughlin 2020

Fun Fact: Tate Modern was built within London’s old Bankside power station which had been out of action since 1981. The building lay dormant, with all its machinery still in place, until 1994 when the Tate announced it had selected the station as a new additional site in London. The Turbine hall became the museum’s grand entrance way.

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