Cobra Mist (2016)
Emulsion paint on canvas
180cm x 180cm (approx)
"Cobra Mist" or System 441A was the name of an experimental "over-the-horizon" backscatter radar built on Orford Ness during the Cold War and designed to monitor air and missile activity in the Eastern Bloc.
The main structure consisted of a huge 119 degree fan-shaped array of 18 aerial "strings", each 2200 feet long with masts rising up to 195 feet in height.
The Anglo-American project was massively expensive but the system never worked operationally and the radar was shut down only a short time after completion in 1973 following unsuccessful trials.
Although the physical structure no longer exists, this painting is intended to reflect what has been left behind in the landscape. I had always intended to work with the entire arc of the radar but for hanging purposes, 90 degrees was more practical. Once I figure out the practicalities of creating and hanging the full 119 degrees I may attempt a second version.