Three Polish-connected artists, a poet Maria Jastrzebska, a fine artist Dagmara Rudkin, and a composer Peter Copley, are researching and developing a collaborative installation inspired by The Snow Queen story by Hans Christian Andersen. They’ll be re-imagining this richly symbolic story as a vehicle for exploring contemporary issues: loneliness and social isolation, mental health, gender, sexuality, migration and exile.
You can track their work on the blog Snow Q: Re-imagining the Snow Queen story.
Why The Snow Queen? Firstly, it is quintessentially European and both British and Polish audience are familiar with it. It provides the opportunity to challenge audiences, both older and younger, with our new responses to it. But secondly, its themes strike as both universal and at the same time relevant today: migration, isolation, depression. Gerda the heroine is enriched by travelling through multicultural landscapes, empowered by meeting people of different social status, age and ethnic background. She becomes more equipped to complete her task but also makes positive changes to those she meets (which is why she encounters a transformed Little Robber Girl on her way home). She walks into the Ice Palace unaided, finding strengths within herself – a lesson of hope to us all. The story also carries environmental concerns. It shows what happens if we give up our connection to nature and our emotional intelligence – this is what happens to Kai as they retreat further and further into a cruel, unfeeling world…
Ellie Blackshaw, musician
Mark Hewitt: project manager and performance director
Wendy Pye: photographic artist
Rita Suszek: comedian, poet and playwright
Snow Q Event
21 December 2018
Installation open 4pm-9pm, last admittance 8pm
The basement of the Regency Town House Annexe
10 Brunswick Sq, Brighton and Hove BN3 1EH.
FREE but booking your time slot via eventbrite advised
Project supported by Arts Council England and Lewes Live Literature. Partners: Centrala (Birmingham), European Literature Network, Marlborough Theatre, New Music Brighton, New Writing South, Older and Out, Polish Cultural Institute, Polish Saturday School, Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, Synergy Creative Community and Young Carers Group.