Art at Orbital



La Nature Dévore le Progrès et le Dépasse - Isabel Skinner

La Nature Dévore le Progrès et le Dépasse

Nature devours progress and succeeds it

An abandoned locomotive overwhelmed by nature was first described in the surrealist magazine Minotaure in the winter of 1937 to accompany an essay by Benjamin Perét.

André Breton had written in L’Amour Fou:

 I am sorry not to be able to reproduce, among the illustrations to this text, a photograph of a very handsome locomotive after it had been abandoned for many years to the delirium of a virgin forest.”

The Certainty of Clouds


Clouds, the evolving shapes colours and light evoke a dynamism where the normal pace of the natural world is too slow to be observed

Tethered Clouds

'the barbarism of weather control'

tethered clouds

Dark Storage

With the passage of time, discrepancies develop in the code creating no-go areas within the cloud.

These places are known as Dark Storage.  Invisible to the users inaccessible to the data managers, unlisted in the files.

Unmapped, unclaimed, unassigned.

autonomously created

giving nothing away

digital dark matter

she currently carries no name (2018)

The grey saddle-tank steam locomotive P1903 is part of the present-day rolling-stock at Chatham dockyard, she was built by Peckett & Sons Ltd in 1936. Although the other engines at Chatham have been given names, often associated with Royal Navy vessels, the dockyard railway website remarks of P1903, ‘she currently carries no name’. 

The artist has placed the unnamed locomotive in the spotlight, under the amazing cantilevered roof of No.3 Slip, to highlight and celebrate the importance of steam technology in the development of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Showing at:

Of the River and Other Stories:  400 years of Chatham and the Sea

No.1 Smithery, The Historic Dockyard Museum, Chatham (Kent) 23 March - 17 June 2018

she currently carries no name - Isabel Skinner (2018)
Portrait of my life As a railway track - Isabel Skinner

Portrait of my life

as a railway track (2017)