Northern Rivers Creatives perform The Ice Suite at Tasmania's Mona

Reading Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott's diary sparked an idea.

From her reading Karena Wynn-Moylan started writing what is now The Ice Suite 10 years ago.

She read all of Scott's diaries and was amazed to find out through an article later on, how the whole team had returned to their base.

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"After 86 years they'd (the bodies) made it home because of the glacial shift," Karena tells Pulse.

Scott led a team of five on an Antarctic expedition, Terra Nova, which resulted in his and his team's deaths in 1912.

The Ice Suite is a re-imagining of the inner thoughts of those men told through music, spoken word and visual design by co.sonance.

The idea is for the audience to become part of that world, to be immersed in the inner thoughts of the explorers.

Co.sonance is a collaboration between Northern Rivers' residents composer Karena, musicians Ken Naughton and Cye Wood and visual artist Grayson Cooke.

"The basic tragedy of the story is what inspired the project," Karena says.

"Just how extraordinarily brave they were and how different I was to them.

"It isn't a narrative piece; it's an emotional journey where the audience is going through the minds of the people."

While some audiences in Byron Bay, Bangalow and Lismore have seen elements of the project, the full 55-minute performance is scheduled in the not too distant future at Tasmania's Nolan Gallery at the Mona in March.

It is the first time a group has performed in the Nolan Gallery, which was built to house Sidney Nolan's painting, Snake.

Karena says the team has been working on the project for a year full-time and though they've finished the 55 minutes, as they edge toward the big event, they are tweaking every day.

"We keep adding bits," Karena says.

"It's quite complex in parts so we're always refining it."

For all the hard work Karena doesn't ask for much from her audience.

"I hope they've been really touched by the story," she says. "I want them to be swept along by the musicianship and the imagery. I want them to see what an extraordinary age this was and how brave people were."

The Ice Suite is on at the Nolan Gallery, the Mona in Tasmania on March 29. For more information and to book tickets head to


Cassandra Tobin
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