Based on a True Story, an immersive installation made for the Wassaic Project’s summer exhibition (2014) was housed on the 7th floor of an old wooden grain elevator. The exhibition featured a large sculpture constructed out of found wood, a 20 foot hand-carved woodcut illustrating how a storm cloud develops, a series of hand-printed banners with weather idioms like “Know Which Way the Wind Blows” and “Weather the Storm”, and a projection of their 5-minute short film Supercell. Mimicking the idea of Weather Girl’s study, the installation had an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. It filled the space from top to bottom with the sound of a fast approaching thunder storm, intaglio prints based on scientific illustrations, photographs taken while storm chasing and two vitrines displaying weather related objects and ephemera. There was even hand-cranked wind and rain machines, as well as free Weather Girl buttons and a replica of a baseball-sized piece of hail. Located north of New York City in the hamlet of Wassaic, the exhibition and festival attracted more than 4500 visitors.
Based on a True Story is part of the on-going series Weather Girl—a project that combines meteorology and creative non-fiction through the practices of printmaking, film, sculpture and installation. Faculty member Tara Cooper and her husband, filmmaker Terry O’Neill, have been working on Weather Girl since 2009.