A Natural Anthem

Inspired by themes of security, propaganda and Isaac Rosenberg’s ‘Returning, We Hear the Larks’, this specially commissioned, poignant and humorous anthem-led performance and multi-art form installation explores the impact of threat, community action during times of war, and today’s fight to protect the natural world.  From this, a new micro-nation is born…

The work explores the fine line between fact and fiction, mixing realities through spoken and recorded work, photographic images and artefacts, alongside stirring musical performances.

A Natural Anthem is the creation of collaboration between Skimstone Arts’ professional Ensemble and experienced artists from the Young Artist Collective, commissioned by Newcastle Arts Centre and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

A Natural Anthem premiered at Newcastle Arts Centre Gallery 24 July – 9 August 2014 and will be touring the North Area 2014-15.

A Natural Anthem – Exhibition

A Natural Anthem consists of four artworks:

Community Action Archive
Exploring the use of propaganda, the archive contains digitally manipulated photographs, ‘artefacts’, and fabricated narratives, creating a sense of a history of Community Action within the new micro-nation.  It aims to question what is fact and what is fiction in the information we receive from the media and government; raising questions about how information is relayed to us, especially in times of war.

Lark Radio 191.FM
Transmitting from a bird hid, Lark Radio 191.FM considers the importance of radio and communications, and presents an opportunity hear programmes broadcast to the new micro-nation. Coded messages are embedded within the broadcasts, echoing the place of interception and interpretation.

A Garden to Remember
Relating to guerrilla gardening, war memorials, and the need during times of conflict to grow our own produce, A Garden to Remember invites you to join the micro-nation by sowing memories and dreams for the future, alongside those we wish to treasure.

A Natural Anthem Procession Exhibit
Photographic exhibits of A Natural Anthem Procession that invites audiences to join the growing micro-nation, including the original manuscript of Call to Action speech and display of the fledgling nation’s anthem flag.

A Natural Anthem – Procession Performance

“All We Grow We Own, Yield To The Poppy Fields.”

Audiences are invited and welcomed into the new micro-nation with a stirring performance of music, theatre and dance, culminating with a procession to the exhibition space.

Comprising of a specially composed anthem, a song of dreams, speeches about love, loss, and the dawn of a new age, A Natural Anthem prompts us to reflect on the historical current issues facing our land.

As part of a growing nation, called to action, how can we protect humans and nature sustainably, and nurture environments where everyone can live safely and freely?



Performed at:
Newcastle Arts Centre
The Customs House, South Shields

Newcastle Arts Centre
Esemée Fairbarin Foundation