News 23/05/2023

Prosiect 40°C: Calling on artists to respond to the climate crisis

Background of an upward perspective shot of trees with blue skies visible through the trees. In the centre is the logo for Prosiect 40°C which features the name of the project in upper case text, but instead of the '0' in '40' there is a small, graphic image of a green planet.

We're proud to launch Prosiect 40°C – a new long-term project responding to the climate crisis – with an open call for artists to take part in a residency at the Centre for Alternative Technology in August.

Prosiect 40°C is a response to the critical moment last year when the Met Office recorded the highest ever temperature in the UK. The aim of this 4-year-long, multilayered project is to discover different and creative means to challenge old ways of responding to natural disasters and to explore how the medium of live theatre can broaden our understanding of the climate crisis as an intrinsic part of life in Wales today.

Guided by lead artist and curator Dylan Huw, Prosiect 40°C will kickstart with the Gwreiddoli residency. With support from Natural Resources Wales, 5 artists will be invited to spend 4 days at the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth to listen, challenge, co-imagine and develop creative ideas. During the Gwreiddioli residency, the artists will take part in sessions led by guest artists and experts from various fields. Then, they will regroup to reflect, discuss and respond creatively to the themes and the speakers without the pressure of having to present anything at the end of the residency.

Lead artist Dylan Huw said:

“I’m so excited to be working with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru on the Gwreiddioli residency, and I can’t wait to welcome more artists to become part of the process. The core aim of the project since the start has been to bring a group of people together to share, listen and think imaginatively around some of the most omnipresent (and overwhelming) issues of our lifetime, in a multi-disciplinary, open, generous, and inquisitive space. We’re building upon innovative work that has been happening between artists, organisations and communities in Wales for some time to centre the work of collective imagination as a tool in facing challenging futures. I can't wait to see what comes of this summer."

The Gwreiddioli residency is a transformative opportunity for a group of artists to ambitiously explore the potential of their work, to push the boundaries of theatre and to challenge common preconceptions about the climate crisis. The five artists participating in the project will each receive a fee of £1000.

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director Steffan Donnelly, strongly believes in offering artists a creative space to explore critical issues such as these. Steffan said:

"It’s important that we question how Welsh theatre responds to the climate crisis, and how we as a company can operate greener. I’m very proud of our clear commitment to operating sustainably, but we have more work to do. This project is an opportunity for us to take practical action, and build upon the exciting work that Dylan Huw has already been involved in as one of the Future Wales Fellows with Arts Council Wales and Natural Resources Wales. If you’re interested in developing creative ideas, challenging the practices of the company and the sector, raising awareness in our communities, and interweaving activism and art - apply! Bringing together various artists and ecological specialists in one space is an extremely exciting opportunity and I'm really looking forward to starting Prosiect 40°C."

For Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, having Natural Resources Wales’ support in the development of the project has been invaluable, and both companies are thoroughly enjoying this opportunity to collaborate. Joe Roberts, Lead Specialist Advisor: Recreation and Access for Natural Resources Wales says:

Natural Resources Wales is delighted to support Prosiect 40°C. Our new corporate plan sets out a vision for nature and people thriving together, and the actions we will take to help achieve this. Underpinning our approach is an acknowledgment that Wales has a unique relationship with nature through its language and culture – one that should be cherished and celebrated. This project offers an amazing opportunity for Welsh artists to explore this relationship. The programme, created by Dylan Huw, will undoubtably inspire challenging discourse around identity, language, social justice and the climate and nature emergencies.”

Artists working in any medium are invited to submit an application for this opportunity. Applicants must be 18 years old or above, a Welsh speaker or eager to develop their confidence while using Welsh at work, and they must be a freelance artist working in the creative sector.

*The window for expressions of interest for the Gwreiddioli residency has now closed.*