"When I first read The Ice Palace, it immediately took shape in my head as a contemporary ballet. With its sparse lyrical prose, strikingly visual language and perceptiveness about human relationships, it is rich material for translation into dance. Vesaas wrote extensively about the reader’s experience of transforming written words into visual images and emotional experiences. His writing is extraordinary: economical, simple, but reverberating with reference to sound, light, movement, colour, texture. I wanted to reflect the way Vesaas writes in my approach to designing the project. Vesaas uses extensive reference to the natural word to describe the emotional experiences of his characters. Many of his descriptions of rural Norway, I identified with my own childhood in rural Scotland. Making mono-prints, using twigs and plants from my home, I developed these into bold prints. Reaching across the costumes, they reflect the way that the human and natural worlds are so closely intertwined in The Ice Palace. Using these patterns, I created dyed, knitted and printed textiles, experimenting with a wide range of techniques. I was also heavily inspired by vintage ski wear, traditional Norwegian dress and both traditional Scandinavian and contemporary knitwear." Molly McDonell Finlayson
'Winter is approaching in a small, rural Norwegian community. A waterfall is gradually freezing into a vast ice structure: The Ice Palace. Two eleven year old girls make friends: reclusive Unn, and lively Siss, the headstrong and energetic leader of the children at school. The following day, Unn disappears. As the winter deepens and the search for Unn fails, The ice palace becomes the compelling focus for Siss’s struggle with grief and guilt. Siss takes on Unn’s role as an outsider, alienating herself from the children at school. Only as the spring thaw finally begins, and a series of important encounters occur, can Siss accept the knowledge that Unn is dead.'