2016 Artist Programme begins with Creative Writing

Light is a prominent feature at Sumburgh Head. (image by Frank Bradford) Light is a prominent feature at Sumburgh Head. (image by Frank Bradford) The first artist in residence at Sumburgh Head in 2016 will be creative writer, Clare Duffy, in January. 

Clare writes for theatre, radio and children’s television. She is the current ISAH/Traverse Theatre fellow for 2014/15. She teaches ‘Writing For Performance’ at Glasgow University, where she completed her practice as research PhD in Playwriting. She is a co-director of Unlimited Theatre, which she co-founded with Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe in 1997. Unlimited is resident at The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

In January 2016 Clare will be resident at Sumburgh Head to write and prepare a new work for performance. The effects of living in Shetland’s unique environment and light will be the central theme and it will include research by eminent scholars.  She will deliver a free creative writing workshop on Saturday 16th January, which bookings are now being taken for.

Clare discusses her aims for her writing and performance of her new project Extreme Light North:

"What difference does light make to mental and physical health? There is a fascinating and growing body of research that shows how mental and physical health is affected by extreme light conditions. I will work with Prof. Debre Skene, Prof Josephine Arendt and Prof Arne Lowden scientists who specialise in the effects of light on the human clock/chronobiology.

"Light environments have such profound effects on essential parts of our lives, such as our reproductive, eating and sleeping patterns. I want to research effects of light on individuals and communities mental and physical health through theatre making practice. I want to ask if light, beyond the 60 degree parallel, might be as powerful an affect on identity as other political or historic boundaries between communities and societies."

For a practical outcome, Clare wants to create site-specific performances co-authored by local artists, local communities and herself. The Shetland performance, which will be broadcastlive at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will be at Sumburgh Head in the last two weeks of August 2016.

You can download a copy of Clare's project outline here.

Jenifer Talbot will make a return trip to Sumburgh Head in January to follow up on the work with felt and stitching she started last February. Jennifers work will also focus on light, and she will attend Clare's workshop on 16th January.