Step inside an exact replica of an Antarctic hut and be transported to Deception Island, a tiny caldera in the Antarctic Ocean. Battered by the fiercest seas in the world and shaken by volcanic activity. Here the rusting remains of industrial whaling and a seabed littered with whalebones testify to mankind’s greed and brutality. But the island is also an outpost of scientific exploration, a witness to human attentiveness and fortitude.
This brand-new poetry installation from Story Machine and Elizabeth Lewis Williams will summon a remote frontier where climate and months of winter darkness impose a kind of perpetual lockdown.
As the ship carrying the author’s father edges through the basalt cliffs into the calmer waters of Deception Island, the island’s many voices, human and non-human, begin to speak.
Prepare to embark on an immersive poetry, sound and film expedition like nothing you have been on before.
Deception Island is presented by Story Machine in collaboration with Elizabeth Lewis Williams. It is delivered in partnership with British Antarctic Survey, UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, and Norwich Science Festival. It is funded by Arts Council England.
The Reclus Hut at Portal Point
We are working with conservation carpenter and heritage project expert Geoff Cooper to design an exact replica of the Reclus Hut at Portal Point (photo below). Geoff is an expert in historic restoration and has worked with both the New Zealand and UK Antarctic Heritage Trusts.
The hut is being built in Wymondham by Peter Beck.
Deception Island Creative Team
Written by Elizabeth Lewis Williams
Directed by Sam Ruddock
Produced by Sam Ruddock and Elizabeth Lewis Williams
Sound Design by Jenni Pinnock
Film by Mark Hannant
Hut plans developed by Geoff Cooper
Hut built by Peter Beck
Archive material provided by British Antarctic Survey
Narrator – Alasdair Baker
Witch – Elizabeth Lewis Williams
Whale – Gillian Dean
Rock – Sam Heydon
Ocean – Elspeth Latimer
Glacier – Richard Ashwell
Scientists – Crawford Blair, James Ducker, Ian Williams
Whalers – Crawford Blair, Sam Heydon
Elizabeth Lewis Williams is a Norwich based writer and teacher. Currently Writer in Residence at the British Antarctic Survey, and part of the team bringing ‘Deception Island’ to life as an immersive installation in a replica Antarctic hut, She is an advocate for the importance of writing and storytelling in education, and for the way in which an understanding of human engagement in Antarctica can deepen our understanding of our place on the planet. After many years spent teaching in schools, she completed an MA, followed by a PhD, in Creative Writing at the UEA where she is currently an Associate Tutor; she is also engaged in a variety of outreach projects. ‘Deception Island’ is her first book length publication.
See Deception Island
Deception Island will premiere at Norwich Science Festival in October 2021.
Deception Island Installation
Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF
Cost: £5 per person
Running time: 30 minutes
Book tickets at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/deception-island-2021
|Saturday 23rd October||10am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 12pm, 12.40pm, 1.20pm|
|Sunday 24th – Friday 29th October||On the hour from 10am – 7pm|
|Saturday 30th October||On the hour from 10am – 3pm|
Deception Island Launch Talk
Join poet Elizabeth Lewis Williams, Professor of Creative Writing at UEA Jean McNeil, filmmaker Mark Hannant, composer Jenni Pinnock, and producer Sam Ruddock for a discussion and Q&A about all things Antarctica.
Saturday 23rd October 2021
Church of St Peter Mancroft
Hay Hill, Norwich, NR2 1QQ
Book tickets at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/deception-island-talk-2021
Exploring the Sound Archives workshops
Join poet Elizabeth Lewis Williams and sound experts from Norfolk Record Office to explore some of the treasures of the British Antarctic Survey archives.
From penguin recordings to reminiscences of Antarctic scientists and explorers, you’ll discover a rich mix of voices, and create a found poem from what you hear.
Book tickets at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/explore-the-sound-2021
|Sunday 24th October||2-4.30pm||Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library|
|Wednesday 27th October||6.30-8pm||Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, Bethel Street|
|Saturday 30th October||1-3.30pm||Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, Bethel Street|
Presented in partnership with Norfolk Record Office.
Lean Fall Stand /_ | with Jon McGregor
In 2004, Jon McGregor set out for a small field hut in the Antarctic, as part of a writing residency supported by the British Antarctic Survey. He never made it there, and spent the next seventeen years trying to write a novel about the experience.
In Lean Fall Stand, a team of Antarctic researchers face a crisis on the ice. When one of them comes home with his language shattered, his wife faces a crisis at home.
Jon McGregor invites you to join him in the Deception Island hut to hear about his journey south and the limits of language. He’ll read fragments from his novel, show you the slides from his journey, and put on a brew. Just remember to wrap up warm.
Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF
Cost: £5 per person
Running time: 20 minutes
Book tickets at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/whats-on/lean-fall-stand-2021
|Wednesday 28th October 2021||12.40pm, 1.40pm, 5.40pm, 6.40pm|
|Thursday 29th October 2021||12.40pm, 1.40pm, 5.40pm, 6.40pm|
Presented in partnership with 4th Estate.
Deception Island – The Book
Deception Island will be published by Story Machine in October 2021. More information will be available soon.