Now the residency is over I think it will take me a long time to process my experience in the Arctic and work out how it will impact my life and work. I strongly feel that it will have a great impact on what I do next, but I am struggling to articulate to people how the experience was, what we actually got up to and to describe the almost indescribable places that we were extremely lucky enough to witness. Already I am feeling a weight of responsibility to make plans about where I will go next with the materials, ideas and documentation I captured during the residency. I believe that I was extremely privileged to be able to take part in this unique opportunity, but that it is really important that I try to find a way of translating it into something meaningful for a broader range of people in order to make the trip worthy of its magnitude not only in terms of investment from numerous sources but also environmentally.
Having physically experienced aspects of an environment where the effects of climate change are being manifested in some of the most dramatic ways on earth, I feel a greater and more urgent responsibility to find out more about what I can do personally to implement more environmentally conscious choices within my own life, but also how I can use the creative work I do as a choreographer and dance artist to engage people in these extremely complicated and daunting issues in ways that might ignite their interest, engagement and desire to take collective action.
From being surrounded by a group of fellow artists and scientists who were brought together by their common interest and passion for exploring alternative ways of sharing the real, contemporary experience of being in this particular place in the Arctic through their very diverse practices, I really believe that the collaboration between science and the arts is crucial in promoting awareness of climate change to a wider population. In my opinion standalone facts and statistics about how our world is drastically changing intended to scare people into change are clearly not working in terms of getting people to act. They seem so gigantic and unfathomable that the majority of people are stunned into a state of not knowing what to do or how to make a change, me included. The arts offer a different lens for people to look through, that is often more connected to our personal, emotional and compassionate human traits
I want to do my best to ensure that the physical traces of my presence on the landscapes I encountered weren’t in vain and had a beneficial purpose in a grander scheme of engaging more people in a very real and urgent global problem.
I met an incredible group of people who I learnt a great deal from in many different ways. I fell in love with being at sea. I saw wondrous sites that I will cherish dearly for the rest of my life and I feel greatly energized to use my experience to create work that communicates something of importance to as broad a range of people as possible.