In 2001 the artist David Buckland created the Cape Farewell project to instigate a cultural response to climate change. Cape Farewell is now an international not-for-profit programme based in the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London and with a North American foundation based at the MaRS centre in Toronto.

It is an artist led organisation, founded and directed by artist David Buckland. Since the project began, many artists have been invited to join the expeditions to the Arctic and to work within the project on the ongoing programme of exhibitions and events. The project offer a unique route for artist development and every artist that has so far journeyed with Cape Farewell has been inspired to create work.These invitations are always personal and made to artists who Cape Farewell trust and admire.

It works also in partnership with scientific and cultural institutions to deliver an innovative climate programme of public engagement. It uses the notion of expedition – Arctic, Island, Urban and Conceptual – to interrogate the scientific, social and economic realities that lead to climate disruption, and to inspire the creation of climate focused art which is disseminated across a range of platforms – exhibitions, festivals, publications, digital media and film.

Objectives and beneficiaries

The ambition of Cape Farewell’s seventh expedition was to inspire the creative team to respond to climate change both in the Arctic and on their return. On 25 September a group of artists, scientists, architects, comedians, musicians, playwrights, composers, engineers, film-makers and journalists journey aboard the science research vessel – Grigory Mikheev, from Kangerlussuaq to Disko Bay. The boat voyaged across the front of the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of Greenland's largest glaciers moving at a faster rate than ever before, losing 20 million tons of ice every day.

The 2008 expedition build on the important scientific and artistic research begun in 2007. In 2008, scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and the British Geological Survey concentrated on the West coast of Greenland to further explore the continuing northern ice melt. Dr Simon Boxall measured the ocean tract across the Labrador Current (for direct comparison with the 160 mile ocean tract measured in 2007) Meanwhile, Dr Carol Cotterill carried out extensive sequence stratigraphy analysis below the seabed to gain further insight into past climates, changes in sea level and the speed in which these changes can occur.

Strong points of the practice

It aims to inspire a cultural change. And to do so it use arts. Moreover, the project focus on education as a way to stimulate changes and making common people care about climate change and the remote arctic region.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

The way that we live our lives has caused the climate to change and the solution to a potentially devastating reality has become a cultural challenge. Cape Farewell asks the best of our creative minds to respond to this challenge and to build a vision for a sustainable future.

Replicability potential of the practice

Everywhere. Art can be used everywhere as a driving force for changing.