We are very happy to announce a new collaboration between the Principality of Lorenzburg and freelance artists and scholars Anna Frew and Betsy Lamborn from the UK.
The collaboration was initiated after Anna Frew, Betsy Lamborn and Prince Freï met at the winter conference of the Nordic Summer University, an international independent academic institution that was founded in 1950. After having taken part of each others’ presentations at the conference we decided to start a joint project about re-telling elements of personal family histories within the framework of the alternative fairytale history of the Principality of Lorenzburg. In the project we focus on a specific event in history and how it ties together the invented background of Lorenzburg with local Irish/ Scottish legends and the speculative family history of the collaborators.
The project’s main idea is to re-tell the story of a historical event, called the Black Dinner, that took place in Scotland in the year 1452. A treason that results in the murdering of most of Clan Douglas as well as a visiting Lorenzburgian Prince, creates consequences that reach into our present day and times.
The collaboration unfolds as a transmedia/ mixed media narrative including:
- semi-mythological pieces of family history and lore
- Invented personal and national history
- embroidery in the form of a bayeux-style tapestry
- poetry and invented historical texts
- Traditional and invented folkloric fairytales narrated in multiple media
- Community art events
We hope that this project will also be an invitation to others to delve into their own family background and to get creative with facts and myth in the re-telling of their own stories. Anyone who is inspired to add their family’s history to the mythology of Lorenzburg is welcome to contact us with their ideas!
www.vapidmedia.co.uk (Together with Betsy Lamborn)
Why this project
I met Freï at the Nordic Summer University a few years ago in Iceland and then again in Sapmi in 2017. Here our work was programmed together and its compatibility in a schedule was soon found to lend itself to collaboration. My own practice is all about storytelling, usually through cutting edge digital media. Working with the Lorenzburg project is allowing me to return to some of my analogue practice alongside the digital.
On a personal note, as I am a UK and Republic of Ireland citizen, this project comes at an interesting time in the history of the British Isles. The United Kingdom’s referendum result means we will soon leave the European Union. This has heightened tensions within the painfully won Northern Ireland peace process and now Scotland is looking for another independence vote. As someone who has reconciled their identity as being of the ‘British Isles’ this is a shift in belonging, as my two nationalities will no longer share a Union and old arguments are given new life. As well as this, and as my Swedish husband is from there, I will soon be moving to Stockholm. Therefore this project gives me a way to help find connections between my own family history and Sweden, as well as the nations in my heritage. The project helps me to explore my multi-cultural heritage whilst helping me find older connections with my soon to be home.
I currently work as a PhD Researcher and Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. My research is focused on how we use technology to tell stories whether through drones, virtual reality, 360 degree filmmaking, or through data. I work closely with BBC Research and Development on my PhD research where I am looking at the use of digital media to tailor a broadcast to its audience. Known as ‘Perceptive Media,’ this involves collecting data about the audience or their context to help inform the structure of the narrative. My research defines this kind of storytelling, demonstrates how it works, and explores the possible artistic intentions behind it.
www.vapidmedia.co.uk (Together with Anna Frew)
Betsy Lamborn a storyteller, creating narratives through sculpture, graphics, explorative audio. In 2015 she completed her MFA from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm. Her work looks at public storytelling and the role of the storyteller in society.
Working both as an individual, and as part of the collective Vapid Kitten, Betsy has exhibited work in the UK, the USA and Sweden. Betsy currently resides and works in the UK.
Freï von Fräähsen zu Lorenzburg
I am a choreographer, performance artist and writer currently based in Gothenburg Sweden. I have a BA from Trinity Laban conservatoire of Music and Dance (London) and a MA Contemporary Performative Arts from Gothenburg Academy of music and drama. In my own practice, as a writer and performer, I deal with questions of liminality, taboo, sacrifice and usurpation. I guess I am passionate about the idea that an individual has to claim humanhood for themselves in a series of performative gestures. In this sense human life, and all its activities, takes on a ritual/ mythic dimension wherein one creates oneself as a sovereign subject through knowledge and deep inquiry into oneself and one’s environment. Artistic practices become a means, not merely of representing or mirroring oneself and the world, but of creating oneself and one’s world. Thus every act of art is a declaration of independence.