Siren Poets - Cape Farewell - The cultural response to climate change


Cape Farewell's cultural response to the Covid 19 crisis

Siren Poets, supported by Arts Council England, is part of an emergency cultural response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Born from our commitment to support artists, creative practitioners and encourage public creativity in these difficult times, we are launching a poetry project presented predominantly through digital and social media. 

Cape Farewell has for 19 years inspired and delivered artworks that address human-induced environmental impact and how, through art, we can help generate a sustainable cultural shift. Using creativity to innovate, we work with artists for their ability to evolve a creative environmental language, engaging the public on the urgency of the global climate challenge. Our history shows that issue-based art can inspire a diverse audience, unifying communities through a common cause.

The brief

Through an open submission process, three South West based poets will be chosen to take part in a 2 month creative programme during which they will be encouraged to create new public facing work.  The poets’ work will be underpinned by a consciousness of the climate emergency challenge; the ongoing crisis that now runs parallel with the pandemic. Now more than ever, artists are uniquely placed to give us a cultural handle on what it means to be human, with a focus on our footprint, the role of our physical ‘home’ and of our collective wellbeing. 

We have welcomed poets who work solely with the spoken word but also encouraged poets who incorporate different artistic elements into their work.  This could include sound, music, animation, visual art or any other art form which creates a complimentary union with poetry.  The brief was open to interpretation but through widening the scope of the poetic work produced, we aim to achieve both varied and accessible results.  A core aim of the project is to inspire and nurture connection both inter-culturally, physically and between artists and public.  

Subject to government guidance around Covid-19, the chosen poets will have the opportunity to visit and work from the rural, re-wilded Cape Farewell headquarters in Sydling St Nicholas -  a low carbon artists’ studio, workspace and office immersed in a wild, river landscape filled with nature.

As part of the programme we will ask our poets to publicly present their work (through digital platforms), help devise and take part in live poetry workshops and engage in creative conversations with the public through various mediums including live streaming.  We’re also keen to work with artists from diverse demographics across the South West, particularly those who are under-represented in the arts and we will ask our poets to engage locally with their communities as part of the project.  We anticipate our artists will work over the course of two months from mid June to mid August 2020. 

At the end of the project, there may be further opportunities for one of the poets to develop their creative practice with a year-long residency at Cape Farewell’s rural head quarters in Dorset.

Applications for this project are now closed

Applications closed at midday on 27 May 2020.  A huge thank you to all the South West based poets who applied.  We've had an amazing response and are currently reviewing all applications.  Please follow us on our social media platforms for updates and further details of the project.