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Off to Th'Artic

Intrepid Salford University artist Rebecca McKnight is setting her sights on the ‘roof of the world’ as she prepares to embark on a 300-mile expedition across the Canadian Arctic.

The Salford Artist-in-Residence is aiming to turn her Arctic voyage into a unique art project featuring a live blog, exhibitions, a creative social networking project and schools workshops  – and Rebecca is on the hunt for businesses to support her.

The 28-year-old from Blackburn, Lancashire has undergone nearly two years of training – including a three week trek in the Scandinavian Arctic, funded by Arts Council England – and is planning to put her survival skills to the test in March 2009.

Rebecca’s quest will involve hiking with her teammates unsupported between the two highest Inuit communities in the region – as well updating her blog and documenting her journey with photography and video.

It’s all part of an arts research project created by Rebecca, called Th’Arctic (Lancashire for The Arctic!).  “I am using the expedition as a catalyst to generate ideas for my artwork which I will exhibit in 2009, but also to generate discussion and debate about the Arctic, which is one of the most precious and endangered places in the world.” she explained.

“It’s always been my ambition to walk through the Arctic and live in its wild environment – ever since I was a little girl and saw it on TV. I see it as an opportunity to find out more about myself and the world we live in.”

Th’Arctic will involve Rebecca developing artwork inspired by her expedition, visiting local schools and galleries to give talks about her experiences, and involving aspiring writers, artists and filmmakers in an innovative Arctic-themed social networking project.

“I want to use the trip as the inspiration for different art projects and involve my local communities and the communities I’ll be visiting in the Arctic” said Rebecca.  “I see it as much more than an artist going on expedition – it’s a chance to educate, share my experiences and be creative!”

For the project to succeed, Rebecca is looking for businesses to back her – like her first sponsor, personal trainer David Brownley from The Fitness Works in Salford.

She said: “David trained the army in Arctic survival and is getting me into shape so I can cope with the extreme physical strains of the trip.  I’m hoping that other businesses will see the artistic and educational value in my project too and help make it a reality.”

Any businesses interested in sponsoring Rebecca should call her on 01254 277 190.  For more information about the project go to