Our second Sea Change expedition, exploring Scotland’s Northern Islands with a crew of 28 creatives and scientists.
19 Aug–8 Sept 2013
Scotland’s Northern Islands Expedition
People, Place, Resources on Scotland’s Islands
In August 2013 Cape Farewell set sail from Stromness on our second Sea Change expedition, aboard Lerwick community boat The Swan, with a crew of 28 artists, scientists and informers. Journeying from Orkney to the Shetland Islands via Fair Isle, the expedition will consider the relationship between people, place and resources in coastal and island environments, with emphasis on the role of community agency and local knowledge in developing social and ecological resilience.
The project will build on Cape Farewell’s established programme of expedition, education and commissions by establishing artist residency and curatorial partnerships with pioneering environmental and cultural organisations across the Northern Isles.
There is now an urgent need, widely expressed by climate and social scientists and by local communities affected by accelerating change, for more imaginative and effective dialogue between policy-makers, business and community around issues of resource use, cultural resilience, wellbeing and disenfranchisement. This is an outcome not only of climate and resource stresses in marginal rural communities, but also of the industrialisation of renewable energy across the islands and mainland of Scotland. The ethical, empirical and ecological complexities of these issues demand new lenses and ways of identifying, valuing and communicating the constituent qualities of place. Sea Change facilitates knowledge transfer across disciplines and sectors, enhancing the confidence and capacity of artists as key participants in a rapidly evolving discourse around human futures, and supporting them in the creation of new work as acts of cultural participation and relationship.
The expedition will offer forms of empirical and imaginative engagement with sites and areas of environmental significance, and will also challenge the separation of the human and natural worlds, in part through consideration of traditional forms of knowledge and practice through which people and place are interwoven.
The expedition is part of Sea Change, Cape Farewell’s four-year programme of research and making across Scotland’s western and northern isles. Supporting artists in developing new knowledge and competency in research methods, cross-sector collaboration, agency and advocacy, to become full and influential participants in the network of relations between communities, ecologies and economies.
Supported by Creative Scotland, The Bromley Trust, Lighthouse Foundation, Compton, Jon & NoraLee Sedmak and Arts Council England. With thanks to our local partners The Swan Trust, Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative, Fair Isle Bird Observatory and Guest House, The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, International Centre for Island Technology, Herriot-Watt University and NAFC Marine Centre Shetland.