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House and Flag, Ny Ålesund. Limited Edition Lambda Print. Stevie Ronnie 2013

Finding inspiration in the frozen wastes of the Arctic may be difficult to fathom, but multi-disciplinary artist Stevie Ronnie has founded a series of interlinked artworks based on his experiences in the High Arctic, which he’ll be exhibiting at 36 Lime Street, Newcastle from Friday 4th until Friday 11th December.

Having had an overwhelming desire to visit the polar region since he was a child, he realised his dream after being awarded a place on a residency programme, with support from New Writing North. “It felt like visiting another planet, as everything is so alien and utterly different there.” He remembers of his trip, which he undertook in 2013. “There was a deep sense of isolation that led me to reflect on how little control we really have over our environment. In the Arctic it is clear that nature is in control.”

Having no preconceptions about the work he was hoping to create before setting off on his journey, the subject of climate change became almost an inevitability. “Governments and oil companies seem to be more concerned with the potential profits to be made by the resources that will become available as the polar ice melts than they are with the consequences of this for the majority of the world’s population.

“Going to the Arctic and experiencing this first hand feels like a privilege and I now have a sense of responsibility to share some of my emotional responses through my writing and my art.”

The results of his experiences have become manifest through a variety of mediums: a spoken-word performance and a book of prose poetry; a triptych of filmpoems focusing on the environmental legacy we’re leaving for future generations; a series of artists’ books re-purposed from human debris that he found in the Arctic; plus a series of photographs which bear witness to the way in which humans have interacted with the environment. A combination of all these, along with experimental pieces which combine video, painting, audio, text and photography will be available to view the 36 Lime Street exhibition. “My hope is that the work will make people reflect on the world we live in and their place within it.” Stevie says. “I want people to feel something of the shift in mind-set that I experienced after witnessing the changes that are currently being imposed on the planet, primarily through the way we think about our environment and its resources.”

Arctica is at 36 Lime Street, Newcastle from Friday 4th until Friday 11th December.

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