New theatre project showcases creativity

Terra Nova Productions, Northern Ireland’s intercultural theatre company creating culturally diverse, professional and community led projects for over 13 years, has been working with some of Northern Ireland’s most exciting freelance artists, from diverse backgrounds, throughout the lockdowns.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Friday, 26th February 2021, 9:20 am
Terra Nova Productions participating artists: (Top from left) Katie Varga, Bryony Randall, Michelle Ashwood-Stewart, ( Middle from left) Jamal Franklin, Raquel Mc Kee, Rosa Stourac McCreery, (Bottom from left) Raoul Brand, Shannon Yee, Michelle Yim.
Terra Nova Productions participating artists: (Top from left) Katie Varga, Bryony Randall, Michelle Ashwood-Stewart, ( Middle from left) Jamal Franklin, Raquel Mc Kee, Rosa Stourac McCreery, (Bottom from left) Raoul Brand, Shannon Yee, Michelle Yim.

The company is delighted to announce that the first set of work developed by the artists is ready to view and will be released weekly online at www.terranovaproductions.net from February 26 to March 31.

Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Organisations Emergency Programme, this project provides a platform to showcase artists who, through various art forms, explore and highlight a range of current issues including the impact of the pandemic, family separation and loss, social justice and #BlackLivesMatter.

With the pandemic impacting hard on ethnic minority communities Terra Nova was determined to find a way of highlighting and supporting the ideas and experiences of artists working interculturally in Northern Ireland and beyond. The plight of intercultural freelancers, often far from their families and support networks, encouraged Terra Nova to find funds for these small commissions. Working within lockdown conditions, artists and Terra Nova were challenged to explore creative responses that could be experienced online.

Led by Terra Nova’s Artistic Director Andrea Montgomery, artists have been encouraged to explore and experiment in self-guided work, and their outputs offer a fresh perspective on intercultural life in the arts in UK and Ireland. It is hoped that audiences will enjoy the work online from artists just starting out to those who are established, artists who don’t have English as a first language and artists with disabilities. The short pieces are wide ranging in style and are based on the artist’s investigations. They include everything from how languages other than English may influence the performance of Shakespeare, intimate storytelling, to compelling work about injustice and reparations, and a piece capturing the sound of mornings all across the globe.

Andrea said: “Terra Nova is delighted to be releasing this first wave of work, through the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Organisations Emergency Programme and of course the ongoing support of the Department for Communities and Belfast City Council are key. We have focused our work during the pandemic on our network of freelance artists, and we are proud of that. We hope this project will inspire more intercultural artists to get involved in future Terra Nova project.”