Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Amid a turbulent and trying year, being selected as this year's Josh Award holder is an honour and a privilege. While the freelance science communication landscape has been challenging, the award has given me something to focus my efforts and energy on. The continuing support from the Science Museum Group and BIG Network has truly been a blessing and encouraged me stay positive during these unsettling times.
As part of the Josh award, the winner is offered the chance to produce a new science communication piece. I thought I would take this opportunity to share my vision and progress.
My contribution, Plastic Planet (working title), is something I have wanted to bring into fruition for some time. With the addition of millions of items of PPE adding to the plastic ecological crisis, it seems a poignant moment to debut this piece. I am deeply committed to both the scientific and artistic integrity of any work FLUX produces. I am pleased to share that Plastic Oceans UK has agreed to support this project with in-kind scientific advice.
The performance features a stilted 'Queen of the Sea' walkabout act (think the Grecian goddess Amphitrite, turquoise and mystical) and a family-friendly workshop combining storytelling, movement and STEM (in this case, focusing on plastic pollution, circular economy and sustainability). Central to the walkabout act will be the costume worn by the stilted performer, which incorporates a trailing cape made from recycled ocean plastic waste.
I envision this to be a significant visual piece. Consequently, over the last few weeks, I have reached out to various university costume and textile departments seeking a collaborative partner. I am thrilled to share that the University of Salford is up for the challenge. The fashion department will support a cohort of undergraduate costume design students to produce the costume. The collaboration not only extends the reach of the project but also provides professional work experience to the arts undergraduates.
Upon completion, I hope that the students will share their design and making process as part of FLUX's offering at the Manchester Science Festival. I am sure it will be of significant interest to our audience.
After its premiere at Manchester Science Festival, FLUX will tour the project during the remainder of 2021. If you are interested in hosting the performance or workshop, please do get in touch with FLUX. With the wealth of talented collaborators and the support
of the Science Museum Group, Plastic Planet is set to be a thrilling and provoking piece of theatre.