Cape Farewell

Event: Cape Farewell – Space to Breathe

Space To Breathe

A weekend of events at Somerset House
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 January 2017
12.00 – 18.00 Free, drop in

Make the London air you breathe come to life – a Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space production in partnership with Kings College London and Somerset House

Image: Voyage on the Planet, Chih Chuh. Model: Weilin Wang.

Javis Cocker. Photo Nathan GallagherInterrogate the London air you breathe – a weekend at Somerset House, River Rooms with workshops by King’s College London Environmental Research Group; a bicycle-powered French SolarSoundSystem disco with a DJ set by legendary Jarvis Cocker and SolarSound guest DJ’s; Breathing Mephitic Air a new sound installation by Wesley Goatley; Energy Renaissance, a Virtual Reality experience inspired by the Strand, a HammerheadVR/Cape Farewell/Shrinking Space production – and much more…

Click here to find out more >

Debates facilitated by David Buckland and Shrinking Space. 

Saturday 28th, 3pm – 4pm. Technology and Green Energy, participate with guest experts Tessa Blazey, Director of Engagement Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Elliot Treharne, air quality manager, Greater London Authority and IanEnergy Renaissance VR. Mudway, King’s College London Environmental Research Group.

Sunday 29th, 3pm – 4pm. Advocacy, Policy and Behaviour Change, participate with guest experts Harriet Edwards, British Lung Foundation, Simon Alcock, ClientEarth and Ian Mudway, King’s College London Environmental Research Group.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Cape Farewell has been the cultural partners with the Tidal Lagoon since the get-go four years ago.  Last week Tidal Lagoon got the green light from a Government commissioned report heralding in the possibility of a nation-wide Tidal Energy programme. Clean guaranteed energy, which could supply 12% of UK energy needs over time – tide in, tide out for 120+ years.

Space to Breathe commissioned and produced by Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space, in partnership with King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group.

Supported by: Arts Council England, The Physiological Society, King’s College London Environmental Research Group; Somerset House; King’s College London.

VR Equipment kindly supplied by Virtual Real HIRE

Part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility


Energy Renaissance: A Visionary Partnership between Technology, Science and Culture

Cape Farewell, cultural producers Shrinking Space, and pioneering Virtual Reality & Immersive Content studioHammerhead VR, have teamed up with the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, to create an immersive Virtual Reality experience for Utopia, at Somerset House in October 2016.

This experience will allow visitors to virtually interact with the physical environment of The Strand – the busy area surrounding Somerset House. Through the implementation of behavioural, scientific and technological changes, individuals will transform and de-carbonise their city into a greener, more peaceful neighbourhood, that no longer poses a threat to health nor contributes to climate change.

Across the world, scientists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs are taking up the challenge of pollution and climate change – carbon neutral urban environments are easily achievable – the Energy Renaissance project places individuals at the centre of London’s evolution, where their actions form vital steps towards this feasible, safer and healthier post-carbon urban future.

The project draws on gaming, immersive theatre, and stunning graphics to create a visceral experience, not one set in a fictional future but one that is inspired and informed by present day reality.

About Utopia:

Energy Renaissance is part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility. Utopia 2016 is a collaboration between three neighbours: Somerset House, King’s College London and The Courtauld Institute of Art, in partnership with The British Library, the AHRC, and the British Council. The London School of Economics will also engage many of the 300 plus creative organisations, artists and makers resident at Somerset House.

Full details will be available at

More about Energy Renaissance:

Energy Renaissance is a varied ongoing programme that brings together the world’s best expert informers and creatives, to develop informed blueprints of what a carbon neutral society would look like.

Technological and economic change cannot exist without public approval, excitement and engagement. Cape Farewell collaborates closely with varied partners to engage the public through dialogue, education, exhibitions, workshops, social media and video.

Included projects:

Tidal Lagoon – We are the cultural partner to the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project – a 250MW power plant that will produce 120 years of clean energy, granted planning permission in July 2015. Cape Farewell is responsible for the commissioning and management of the world’s first ‘Tidal Lagoon Sculpture Park’ ready for launch in 2021. Visitors will explore, enjoy and embrace the beauty, possibilities and benefits of clean energy through the 9 surrounding, monumental, educational art works produced as part of Energy Renaissance.

Earth Can You Hear Us – We also partnered with 100% renewable energy company Good Energy to build an engagement programme promoting the switch to renewables with the general public, leading to ‘Earth Can You Hear Us’ – a major event as part of our Global Climate Festival,ArtCop21.

Unauthorised arts festival in Tate Modern during Paris climate talks 4-6th December #artcop21 #cop21

  • Deadline Festival @Tate takes place exactly a year before Tate’s BP sponsorship deal expires
  • Free programme of events includes poetry, video installations, Caryl Churchill play, artist panels, film screenings, theatre and a ‘seedbombing’ session

Platform London is curating an unauthorised arts festival inside Tate Modern on 4-6 December.[1] Deadline Festival @Tate marks the middle weekend of the COP21 UN climate talks in Paris and the start of Tate’s final year of BP sponsorship under the current deal.

The public programme of events includes video installations, poetry, gallery tours, pop-up theatre, kids creative workshops, film screenings and artist debates. Deadline Festival will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate questions usually excluded from the gallery, and discuss cultural institutions’ role in tackling climate change. The full programme will be available next week on

Festival highlights include

  • Capital Culture Climate: with Doreen Massey (Emeritus Professor, Open University), Selina Nwulu (London Young Poet Laureate 2016) and Loraine Leeson (Artist, director of Director cSPACE)
  • Art & Politics – with Julie Ward MEP (Labour), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Sonia Boyce (artist, Professor)
  • Tickets are now on sale, a short play by Caryl Churchill
  • Performance & Power: with Michael McMillan (playwright, artist, educator), Lucy Ellinson (actor, Grounded), and Feimatta Conteh (sustainability manager, Arcola theatre)
  • Naomi Klein’s climate justice film This Changes Everything
  • Unofficial Translation by Ivo Theatre – COP21 negotiations live translated into performance
  • An open invitation to seed-bomb the plant beds erected in Tate’s Turbine Hall as part of Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Empty Lot

Festival curator Mika Minio-Paluello said “Deadline Festival will be cheeky, serious and unauthorised, and marks Tate’s one year deadline to come off BP sponsorship. We will use Tate’s gallery spaces to debate London’s responsibility to break with fossil fuels and our colonial heritage. We’re bringing together artists and actors, professors and politicians to explore the creative process of building a fossil free culture.”

Tate’s controversial sponsorship deal with BP runs from 2012-2016. Earlier this year, a three-year freedom of information court battle forced Tate to reveal that historically BP’s sponsorship fees amounted to £150,000-£330,000 a year – under 0.5% of Tate’s annual budget.[2]

In September, over 300 artists and cultural organisations including London’s Royal Court Theatre signed a commitment to reject fossil fuel funding.[3]  In November, the Science Museum confirmed that Shell is being dropped as sponsor of its climate change exhibition.[4]

Tate director Nicholas Serota has publicly confirmed that Tate Trustees will be reconsidering BP sponsorship during 2016.

Anna Galkina of Platform added “We’re posing a mainstream cultural challenge to oil sponsorship of our arts. As politicians gather in Paris to discuss planetary deadlines for coming off fossil fuels, and London debates its own role, Tate risks being left behind.”

Contact: Festival Curator Mika Minio-Paluello / 07733466038

[1] Deadline Festival @Tate is being curated by London-based arts & research organisation Platform, and organised by the Deadline Festival committee and Art not Oil coalition.

[3] See


Luminato Festival (Toronto): Martha Wainwright in conversation

Martha Wainwright in conversation with David Buckland and Tom Rand of Cape Farewell on Arctic Journeys and other adventures

images In 2008 Martha Wainwright joined the Cape Farewell expedition to West Greenland along with fellow musicians Feist, Laurie Anderson, KT Tunstall and other artists and scientists.  On this extraordinary journey she composed a new song which she will perform.  Cape Farewell director David Buckland will show film clips of the expedition and join Martha in conversation to discuss with Tom Rand the issues climate change, the Arctic reality, and the important perspective artists bring to this important subject.

Martha Wainwright is a Canadian musician whose music melds genres of folk, rock, country, and chanson singing. Wainwright joined Cape Farewell for their 2008 Disko Bay Expedition.

David Buckland created and now directs the Cape Farewell Project, he is a designer, artist and film-maker.

Tom Rand is a global thought leader with a recognized record of extraordinary achievement in the promotion of a low carbon economy. A green entrepreneur, investor, advisor, public speaker, and author, Rand’s ambition is to help bring clean technology to life. Tom is: the Cleantech Senior Advisor at MaRS Discovery District; the founder and director of VCi Green Funds; Managing Director of ArcTern Ventures; a co-developer of Planet Traveler, the “greenest hotel in North America”; and the author of both Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World and recent bestseller Waking the Frog: Solutions for our Climate Change Paralysis.
Tom speaks publicly about the issue because it is his belief that we have yet to have a serious, public conversation about the threat of climate change, and the economic opportunities afforded by the global transformation to a low-carbon economy.

Cape Farewell’s second Sea Change expedition will set sail around Scotland’s Northern Isles

SEA CHANGE 2013: Next week 27 international and Scottish artists and scientists will set sail across Orkney and Shetland to explore climate change impacts, adaptation and resilient behaviours among Scotland’s island communities

On 19th August Cape Farewell’s second Sea Change expedition will set sail around Scotland’s Northern Isles.  27 leading artists and scientists will explore technologies, projects and practices supporting the resilience of Scotland’s island communities, ecologies and cultures. First launched in 2010 Sea Change is a four year programme that brings together artists and scientists to investigate the relationship between people, place and resources and what it means to care for one’s ‘place’ in the context of climate change.  This latest expedition, and the 2011 voyage, will form the basis of a major exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh in November 2013, bringing together for the first time the work of artists and scientists who sailed to the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland as part of Cape Farewell’s Sea Change project.

27 artists and scientists, including the dramatist Bryony Lavery, singers Karine Polwart and Inge Thomson, visual artist Ruth MacLennan, textile artist Deirdre Nelson, photographer Jennifer Wilcox, artist and sculptor John Cumming and the sailor Jo Royle – best known for sailing from America to Australia in a catamaran partly made from plastic bottles – will sail on the 113-year-old community owned Shetland Fifie ‘The Swan’ around Scotland’s most northerly coasts and islands. They will visit on and off shore renewable energy sites on Orkney and Shetland, artisanal and commercial fisheries, Fair Isle’s Bird Observatory, archaeological sites, and local art centres and community projects based on stewardship of the island’s terrestrial and marine ecologies, economies and cultures. To find out more about the expedition visit

Brought together by Cape Farewell, which has been at the forefront of climate change art since 2001, the aim is to investigate the multiple impacts of climate change on the cultures and ecologies of Scotland’s island communities, and their approaches to sustainability, resilience and the concept of ‘faring well’ in times of change.  Islands are significant repositories of the world’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity and home to one tenth of its human population. Their ecosystems are diverse, complex and extremely fragile. Over the last century island biodiversity has been subject to increasing stresses associated with invasive species, resource depletion, pollution and climate change.

The Northern Isles of Scotland are made up of hundreds of miles of spectacular coastline, one of the world’s largest peatlands, important seabird colonies and magnificent landscapes shaped by thousands of years of human interaction with the environment. These outlying ‘bellwether’ islands are vulnerable to extreme weather events and to the economic impacts of the decline of habitats and species vital to local industries and tourism. However, the islands have become pioneers in terms of sustainability programmes, wind, wave and tidal technologies and adaptation projects, and they offer exciting, new approaches to the relationship between place, stewardship and community.

Leading the voyage is Ruth Little, Cape Farewell’s associate director. She said: “Like boats, Scotland’s island communities and ecologies offer palpable and symbolic evidence of the reality of resource constraint; the relationship between needs and limits that is the stuff of climate change.  These islands, with their exposure to natural forces, deep human histories and rich and fragile ecologies, remind us that we face the same challenges across the planet. Together the artists and scientists will explore community projects that strive to deliver economic, social and environmental diversity and resilience. ‘Their journeys will help shape new art-science collaborations, residencies and projects which will culminate in exhibitions and events in 2013 and 2014.”

Speaking about the expedition the sculptor John Cumming said: “Living in the Northern Isles, I have become increasingly aware of the extent to which climate change is impacting on our lives. My art is grounded in this culture, and I feel the need to respond. Sailing northern waters with a group of enquiring and creative people provides an ideal opportunity to observe, reflect and discuss.”

Textile artist Deirdre Nelson said: “I joined the expedition as I am interested in ways that artists and scientists can develop ideas together in order to draw attention to issues concerning the environment, community and climate change.  I am looking forward to exploring the seas and islands around Shetland – this will provide a rich learning experience and new insight into islands I have had a connection with for some time through research into textiles there.”

The boatbuilder Ben Duffin said: “As a traditional boatbuilder working with long term unemployed people in Glasgow with the GalGael Trust I have a strong interest in community development, maritime heritage and social resilience. A chance to explore these themes from the deck of a traditional boat was too good to pass up.”

Artist Ursula Biemann said: “After doing fieldwork in desert zones of northern Africa for several years, this will be the first opportunity for me to head north and do a project at Sea. I would like the ancient land and seascapes to take me back six thousand years when rising sea levels submersed the first settlements along Shetland Island’s shores. This post-glacial period resonates beautifully with today.”

Cape Farewell is a pioneering arts programme set up by artist and photographer David Buckland in 2001.  It works in partnership with scientific and cultural institutions to deliver an innovative programme of public engagement – challenging audiences to think differently  about climate change and the natural systems we inhabit. The organisation has worked with over 140 world-renowned artists, musicians and writers, including Rachel Whiteread, Jarvis Cocker, Ian McEwan, Yann Martel, Sophie Calle, Marcus Brigstocke and Antony Gormley which has resulted in the creation of a broad range of climate focused art and public dialogue. More information about future projects and exhibitions can be found by visiting

Sea Change is a four year programme of research and making across Scotland’s western and northern isles.  It is supported by Creative Scotland, Arts Council England, Compton Foundation, Lighthouse Foundation, the Bromley Trust, Esperamos Films, Edinburgh College of Art and Jon and Nora Lee Sedmak.