Welcome to our Snow Q project!

We are three Polish-connected artists: a poet, a fine artist and a composer who will be researching and developing a collaborative installation inspired by The Snow Queen story by Hans Christian Andersen. We’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.

We will be working with director Mark Hewitt and photographer and film-maker Wendy Pye as well as other artists and partners for the next 6 months and this blog will be about our work together.

It seems only right that we should welcome you today – on the longest day of the year. As each day becomes just a little bit shorter, we will be coming closer to sharing with you the results of our collaboration. Our pilot project will be revealed on the Winter Solstice, 21st of December at Basement of the renowned Regency Town House in Brighton.

Take a look at Who We Are to find out more about us. We live in Brighton but would love to hear from you wherever you are.

Why The Snow Queen? Firstly, it is quintessentially European and both British and Polish audience are familiar with it. This gives us the opportunity to challenge audiences, both older and younger, with our new responses to it. But secondly its themes strike us 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…

Many people and organisations have supported us and helped to set up this project. Thank you to Arts Council England and to Lewes Live Literature for their financial assistance and to all our 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.