Magnetic North Blog

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Artist Attachment update

In January 2020 I took part in Magnetic North’s Rough Mix Residency, where I was given the opportunity to collaborate with artists from varying practices on a new work. The other artists were Flavia Hevia, Uther Dean, Gavin Glover, Greg Sinclair, Kol Sigfúsdóttir, Rachel Drazek, Apphia Campbell, Claire Willoughby, Elspeth Turner, Marion Geoffray, Nicholas Alban and Sean Hay.

Leading up to the residency, I was really unsure about what I wanted to explore, with different projects tumbling around in my mind, I felt a real pressure to pick the ‘right’ one, and to come out of the residency with a really solid WIP. I was also a little unsure of how to use the main resource available to us: six performers, especially as I was still unclear about what form I wanted to explore.

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Beware geeks bearing gifts

Erewhon, New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek’s collaboration with Edinburgh’s own Magnetic North, will have its UK premiere at Summerhall from 1 August.  The new multi-media play brings together technologies separated by a century in a very contemporary investigation of our relationship with artificial intelligence and machines.  

Adapted from Victorian science fiction novel Erewhon by Samuel Butler, Erewhon premiered at Christchurch Arts Festival in 2017. This imaginative production shines new light on Samuel Butler’s satirical novel about Victorian society. Published in 1872, Butler's fictional account tells the story of a young colonial British explorer who discovers a remote community living in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. They’re the descendants of a technologically-advanced culture that had to destroy all their machinery after it became artificially intelligent and malicious. What first appears to be a utopia - where happiness is paramount, and machinery and inventions are forbidden - soon turns out to be a society filled with hypocrisies and blind-spots just as severe as any other.

Read the full Erewhon media release (PDF).

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Successful Creative Scotland Application

Magnetic North has been successful in its application to Creative Scotland for Regular Funding for 2018-21.  This is the first time that the company has joined the RFO portfolio, after 18 years of operating on project funding.  The funding of £100,000 per annum will support Magnetic North’s artist development programme and will enable the company to offer more than 80 artists paid, facilitated, supported time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work through residencies, creative retreats, production support, mentoring, networking events, and bespoke attachments to the company.
 
Artistic Director Nicholas Bone said, “We are delighted that Magnetic North’s work has been recognised with this investment from Creative Scotland. We look forward to becoming part of Creative Scotland’s network of Regularly Funded Organisations and to collaborating with other organisations and artists within and outside the network over the next 3 years. The security and continuity of regular funding will enable Magnetic North to expand our work and to offer more project and creative development opportunities to more artists throughout Scotland.”
 
Magnetic North’s mission is to run a multi-art form programme of artist-centred development and production that creates significant paid opportunities for diverse individual artists at different career stages and produces a distinctive body of high quality work for audiences in Scotland, the UK and internationally. 
 
Based in Edinburgh and founded in 1999 by Artistic Director Nicholas Bone, Magnetic North has created 11 stage productions and a film, mounted 12 tours, commissioned 11 new plays, a screenplay and 2 music-theatre pieces, working in collaboration with playwrights, composers, choreographers and visual artists and with co-producing partners from around Scotland and further afield. Since 2006 the company has initiated and grown a programme of artist development and support, giving artists paid time to discuss, experiment, refresh their practice, share skills and create work.
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