Artist Residency at Hawkwood: Take the Jump & Showponies
What we know:
a) That the climate emergency is real
b) 80% of people believe it’s real and worry about feeling powerless to stop it’s advance
c) That individuals can bring about 30% of the emissions cuts needed by 2030 if we have any chance of a liveable future
These three factors exist, yet we continue to go about our day to day lives making incremental changes, never truly facing the enormity of what is coming.
How to best enable and inform citizens about the massive impact they can make in the flight to halt the climate emergency is the project that has preoccupied Tom Bailey his whole working life and inspired him to form the grassroots movement Take the Jump in 2019. Drawing on research, The Jump have formulated ‘six shifts’ we can all make in our lives which if taken by just 30% of the population of Western Europe and America by 2030 will bring about the change needed.
This is a hugely exciting and important message and needs to be communicated far and wide – in movement building, a number of communication methods need to be employed, social media, press appearances, word of mouth, and public engagement.
For the public engagement element, Take the Jump approached us, Showponies, a production company who specialise in large scale events from circus to festivals, to help them develop some kind of theatrical intervention which would be fun, accessible and help spread their massively important message.
We applied to Hawkwood are were lucky enough to be invited for a residency in February 2023. To help us we created a core group of thinkers; Tom, Showponies, sculptor and set designer Jemima Taylor, and theatre director Flick Ferdinando.
We then invited a different provocateur to join us every afternoon to help us R&D and to test our thinking. These included a community activist, an immersive theatre director, a climate justice campaigner and a festival programmer.
By the end of the week, we had a plan which will take us from one-on-one interactions across UK festivals in summer 2023 to a large-scale touring extravaganza in 2025.
Amazing! That’s what we came to Hawkwood for, and with the luxury of peace, space, nature, delicious food and the care provided, we were able to get our heads down and achieve all we hoped. More than that though, and what we weren’t expecting, were the connections made, the community built, the challenges and inspiration from our fellow residents and the incredible reception from Alicia, Cathy and the Hawkwood Community who blew us away with their enthusiasm and reminded us how important (and fun) our message is.
Take the Jump
A grassroots project created by normal people, ‘Take the Jump’ is for anyone worried about the state of nature but are not necessarily ‘environmentalists’. For anyone looking for constructive, positive and impactful steps we can take in our own lives.
Take the Jump
‘Taking The JUMP’ entails experimenting with the six shifts for durations of 1, 3, or 6 months. Even if individuals cannot strictly adhere to all aspects of it, they can still opt to ‘take The JUMP’ by embracing whatever level of commitment they can manage. Throughout this journey, helpful suggestions and contacts will be provided to assist individuals in their endeavors.
The Co-Founders and Creative Directors of Showponies are Leila Jones and Meg Lawrence. They are two friends who have accumulated 25 years of collaborative work experience within some of the nation’s most esteemed venues and events. Notable names in their portfolio include the Almeida Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the Roundhouse, Spring Studios, Glastonbury Festival, Somerset House, Netflix, and a pair of Disney films.
In their roles, they undertake a range of responsibilities: production, curation, production management, and consultation.