Anthem: A live performance and film work by Beth Derbyshire with music by Ulrike Haage showing at the Eden Project
Premiere: Saturday 14 November 2009, two performances 6:30pm and 8:30pm
The Eden Project in Cornwall and climate change art collective Cape Farewell have collaborated with artists Beth Derbyshire and Ulrike Haage to create a live performance with film on November 14 in Eden’s iconic Mediterranean Biome.
Entitled Anthem, the performance is a trilogy of short films by Beth Derbyshire that documents a disappearing landscape.
The powerful choral accompaniment encourages the audience to explore the impact man is making on the global environment. Imagery from the Arctic, Newfoundland and the United Kingdom, together with haunting sounds from composer Ulrike Haage's musical score, will be accompanied by the vocal ensemble, Stile Antico.
The film uses metaphors of landscape and song to assemble ideas around issues of nationality, identity and language borrowing from sources such as national anthems, ancient land names and etymology.
Beth Derbyshire was inspired to make this work in 2001 during a walk along the Scottish/English border. While filming the area, which was engulfed in mist at the time, she was “struck by the idea of blurred borders and nationalities. This was compounded by the fact that the boundary of the British Isles fluctuates with the tide... our borders are useless in the face of the weather crisis.” She decided she wanted to make a work about land, place and nation.
Derbyshire established that there was a synergy between her line of enquiry and the Cape Farewell creative mission, to work with artists to communicate on an emotional level the urgency of the global climate challenge.
She was invited to join the 2007 Cape Farewell expedition to the High Arctic, where she joined a crew of 20 artists and scientists and sailed the 100 year old schooner Noorderlicht, from Svalbard to the east Coast of Greenland, to the north coast of Iceland.
During the trip, Derbyshire wrote in her diary: “I am here to make a film, part of a trilogy of musical films that explore ideas around nationality by making national anthems that are both aural and visual.
“Migration due to climate change has already begun and will continue to accelerate. I wanted to explore these ideas in the Arctic, a place without borders, a kind of no-man’s-land - or is it?”
Footage from this voyage will be presented for the first time in Anthem at the Eden Project. At the premier on Saturday November 14 there will be two performances, at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The entry price is included in the cost of Eden admission.
As Tim Smit, Chief Executive of the Eden Project says: “To face the challenges ahead we need the best of our imagination and creativity, our technology and science, our humanity and vision. The Cape Farewell project is a wonderful example of how to explore issues and initiate discussions around climate change in an engaging, compelling and moving way, which is also positive and forward thinking.”