The Artists’ International Development Fund is a joint partnership between the British Council and the Arts Councils in England and Northern Ireland which opens up international perspectives for artists to expand their horizons.

The Artists’ International Development Fund is more than just a way to put on an exhibition in another country. It gives artists the chance to share their passion with others and get their names out there. Artists build valuable connections and strong networks during their time abroad, as well as immersing yourself in a completely different culture.

“I saw my work benefitting from being exposed to the stunning landscape and cultural heritage of Norway.”

Emily Dosbon, dancer.

Emily Dobson: Dancing with International Perspectives in Norway

Project Title: Dancing with International Perspectives in Norway

Artist: Emily Dobson

Dates of travel: May 2017

Country: Norway

Emily Dobson is a dancer and dance artist based in Cornwall. She trained in Contemporary Dance at Bretton Hall College of Arts and has performed nationally and internationally under the direction of renowned choreographers and directors, including Yael Flexer, Emma Rice and Simon Birch. Emily traverses art forms in her choreography. For instance, her dance for camera work toured to Budapest and Russia as part of the ArtKino Film Festival. Emily is also co-founder of Freefall Dance, an Associate Lecturer at Falmouth University and an Associate Artist of Hall for Cornwall. Emily’s work navigates her various roles as a dancer, maker and practitioner, thus creating pieces that are beautiful, delicate and captivating. Landscape is a strong influence on her work, as well as her own experiences and those of the people she works with.  

Emily decided to apply for an AIDF grant that would allow her to take her expertise from Cornwall to Norway and engage with a Nordic dance community. The kudos of the grant proved vital when communicating with some of Norway’s most well-respected artists, organisations and dancers. “I saw my work benefitting from being exposed to the stunning landscape and cultural heritage of Norway” she says “as well as the high level of technical dance training for professionals and the vibrant dance community. I’ve always been impressed by CODA Oslo International Dance Festival and the Panta Rei Danseteater, who use a unique creation process and variety of artists and movement to engage with wider society.”

During May Emily travelled independently to Oslo to spend two weeks visiting and working with Panta Rei Danseteater in Oslo, who have a strong connection to Cornwall. She arrived just as the company was beginning to make a new show with Anne Ekenes which will tour during the Autumn. As a result, Emily was able to observe, lead, dance, photograph and write alongside the dancers Jens Jeffry Trinidad, Julie Drønen Ekornes and Hugo Marmelada, and musician Marcus Mahatma Amadeus. The visit provided Emily with a new perspective concerning her own, individual place as an artist in the dance scene in the UK, specifically Cornwall.  

A performance at the Panta Rei Danseteater in Oslo
Emily Dobson spent two weeks visiting and working with Panta Rei Danseteater in Oslo, above, which has a strong connection to Cornwall in the UK.
A performance at the Panta Rei Danseteater in Oslo
A performance at the Panta Rei Danseteater in Oslo

Discover other AIDF projects

In this section, you can find out more about additional AIDF projects.

Borders: Lou Gilbert Scott and Anne Brodie

Lou Gilbert Scott and Anne Brodie completed a two week collaborative project which involved researching and navigating the literal and metaphorical border areas of Sápmi, homeland to the semi-nomadic Sami people of the Arctic. Their aim was to use clay and conversation to explore how borders inform, define and challenge our cultural and individual identities.

By building links with artists and significant art and cultural institutions in Northern Finland and Norway facilitated by the Finnish Institute in London, the Art Producer Kaisa Kerätär, and the AIDF, the project allowed the artists a greater understanding of the Sami Culture. 

Lou and Anne travelled to the Arctic to meet artists and establish new introductions to cultural and visual art organisations in the North of Finland and Norway. Their journey started with meetings and connections made in Helsinki, after which they travelled to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. The trip included visits to Kemijärvi and Sodankylä and across the Norwegian border into Karasjok where they visited the Sami Centre of Contemporary Art. They visited the Sami University College in Kautokeinowas and the University of Helsinki’s Biological station at Kilpisjarvi. 

About Lou Gilbert Scott

Lou is a potter and itinerant artist. Following an M.A at the RCA in 2003 her work focused on the ephemeral qualities of material and making and the symbolic value of the vessel as keeper of narratives. Her artistic practice has taken her into the landscape through making and walking, mapping geographical and historical journeys using clay as the conduit between people and place. 

About Anne Brodie

Anne Brodie is a visual artist with a cross disciplinary approach to her work. After a first degree in Biology, she completed an MA at the Royal College of Art in 2003. The recipient of Wellcome Trust Arts and Arts Council Awards, her practice is process driven, usually working collaboratively at the boundaries between science and art, with a recurrent theme around notions of absence and edges - from the non-object aspects of working with clay and glass, to the emptiness of Antarctica and ephemeral living light source of bioluminescence and its external relationship with the human body. 

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