2003 Expedition

Cape Farewell’s first Arctic expedition – a voyage that took them from Tromsø to Spitsbergen via Bear Island.

28 May– 8 June 2003
Tromsø to Spitsbergen
Cape Farewell’s First Expedition 

On May 28 through to June 8, 2003 a group of scientists, educators, artists, journalists, media experts, four crew and captain set sail aboard the Noorderlicht on a voyage from Tromsø to Spitsbergen via Bear Island.

The boat sailed 200 miles along the ice sheets before reaching the fiords of Southern Spitsbergen, which had just opened after the winter ice. The initial part of the voyage was through the seawater ‘sinks’ which drive all the planet’s ocean currents.

The scale of climate change is difficult to grasp and its causes often abstract in explanation. By taking people virtually via the web into the environment of melting ice and changing landscape, Cape Farewell was the platform by which the most current information was available to the public, empowering them with the necessary tools to be active in the climate change debate.

“We’ve got scientist doing research, teachers explaining what we’re seeing, and artists gathering some extraordinary images. We’re going to take it all back… whatever we can to get the message about how climate change will affect this beautiful place.”

David Buckland

Supported by Nesta, Arts Council England, Geographical Association, Greenpeace Environmental Trust. Proud to partner with National Oceanography Centre: Southampton, the Royal Navy, Big Heart Media and Oceanwide Expeditions.

  • David Buckland – Expedition leader and artist
  • Dr Valborg Byfield – Oceanographer
  • Gary Hume – Artist
  • Gautier Deblonde – Artist
  • Gretel Ehrlich – Novelist, poet and anthropologist
  • Garry Doyland – Geography teacher, Camden School for Girls
  • Max Eastley – Sound Recordist/Musician
  • Heather Ackroyd – Artist
  • Dan Harvey – Artist
  • Casper Henderson – Writer/Journalist
  • Sarah Fletcher – Oceanographer
  • David Hinton – Film director
  • Colin Izod – Director, Big Heart Media
  • Suba Subramaniam – Bharata Natyam dancer, choreographer and science teacher
  • Nick Edwards – Artist
  • Albert Bailey – Sound recordist, Big Heart Media
  • Philip Chavannes – Cameraman, Big Heart Media
  • Carolyn Maze – Director
  • Alexandra Lambert – Cape Farewell Assistant Director
  • Andy Symon – Camera assistant
  • Liam Izod – Runner

Cape Farewell is a charitable organisation made possible through sponsorship, partnerships and donations. We would like to thank the following companies and organisations for their generous support in making the 2003 Art/Science Expedition possible:

  • Nesta
  • Arts Council England
  • National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
  • The Royal Navy
  • Geographical Association
  • Big Heart Media
  • Greenpeace Environmental Trust
  • Oceanwide Expeditions

Among the key expedition sponsors were NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, an organisation that invests in UK creativity and innovation. Set up by Act of Parliament in 1998, NESTA uses the interest on a National Lottery endowment to pioneer ways of supporting and promoting innovation and creativity across science, technology, the arts and learning. NESTA was created to invest at the highest point of risk, and offer individuals, groups and small businesses the time, space, money and support to push at the frontiers of knowledge and practice.

See Also

exhibition installation view

Art & Climate Change

Our first major touring exhibition created in partnership with the Natural History Museum
Burning Ice book cover

Burning Ice

Cape Farewell’s first major book title, republished in 2016 to mark it’s 10th anniversary. Available for £20
cd cover


An album of sonic images by Max Eastley communicating emotion, passion and concern for our fragile natural world. Sold out.

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