POP Projects

Ocean ARTic

What is Ocean ARTic?

Ocean ARTic was a partnership that brought together creatives and marine climate scientists to explore innovative ways tell the story through climate data of the impact of climate change in the Arctic and Scotland.

Funded by Creative Scotland and led by MASTS, this work was established in a pivotal year for climate change negotiations at CoP26, and the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Commissioned Works

  • Light Water Is Black Water – Michael Begg, Composer
  • Holding the Ocean – Eve Mosher, Environmental artist

Light Water is Black Water – album now available for streaming.

Live stream it here on Spotify or access it here on Itunes. Read a review of its performance at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh from 5th June 2022. A track from the album was also played on BBC Radio 3’s Unclassified programme in January 2022.

Want to watch the live performance of Michael Begg’s ‘Light Water is Black Water’ by the Black Glass Ensemble that took place on Friday 5th November 2021. Watch below:

Begg worked with scientists in Germany and Scotland, harvesting research and data models to construct extraordinary new musical works that immerse the listener deep into the complex rhythms, patterns, and the fragile balance constantly at play in the Arctic.

HOLDING the OCEAN, by Eve Mosher

Meet Ossian, your guide as you journey through our stories of the ocean and land interactions in a novel and one-of-a-kind conversation. To explore the Holding the Ocean stories, Ossian will take you on a journey through the stories in partnership with inChat.


The Ocean ARTic project commenced in April 2021 and runs until March 2022, with the following key components:

  • 1st April 2021: An online workshop to provide a platform for creatives and marine climate scientists to discuss their work.
  • May and June 2021: Residencies for two creatives, to be collaborating with scientists to explore data and science, co-creating an approach to a response or expression of stories of climate change in the marine environment. A mix of visual and sound art methods.
  • July and August 2021: Commissioning of works, flowing from the residencies.
  • September 2021 to March 2022: Exhibiting and public sharing of the works and the creative process, at venues and online before and during CoP26.
  • Early 2022: A legacy workshop to consider the formation of a long-term network of collaborators across the marine science and creative communities of Scotland.
  • Read more about the artists here in our previous residency announcement

The Team

MASTS Members: Chris Leakey and Hannah Ladd-Jones 

Project partners: Blue Action EU projectPeople Ocean Planet, Creative Informatics

Steering Groups partners: Marine Scotland and EcoArtScotland

Chris Leakey: “MASTS is delighted to set this in motion as part of our People Ocean Planet initiative for greater impact from marine science. Ocean ARTic will not only result in exciting works for public impact in this most critical year for tackling climate change, but will also pave the way for further collaborations between Scotland’s creative and marine science communities. Other key partners include Blue Action, an international climate research project, and Creative Informatics for inspiring and enabling data-led, innovative and digital creativity.”

The Blue-Action project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 727852.


Project Partners


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