Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn is an artist collective consisting of James Alexander McKenzie and Daniel O’Dempsey as abiding contributors and includes anyone that the pair collaborate with when operating as Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn. It is a vehicle for experimentation, collaboration and developing ideas within the realms of fine art, performance art, spoken word, poetry, music, and theatre.
The collective was founded in 2019 when McKenzie and O’Dempsey undertook a collaborative artist residency with the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney in partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy awarded through the RSA Residencies for Scotland scheme. During their residency, McKenzie and O’Dempsey developed an experimental play also titled Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn. Collaborating with local musicians for Acts 1 and 2, they exhibited each of their three acts at different venues in Stromness for the Orcadian public during October 2019. They also developed a podcast series titled Red Lite Radio during their residency which they distributed through Soundcloud.
On viewing Edward Summerton RSA’s artwork Safe House at the Ages of Wonder exhibition at the RSA in 2017, McKenzie realized the collective could utilise it on their residency. Safe House is a two-person tent with accompanying manifesto stipulating that RSA Residencies recipients can use the tent for shelter during their residency; Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn were the first artists to engage with the work in this way. In addition to using the tent in practical terms when between accommodation in Stromness, and during their expedition away from the mainland, the pair used Safe House as a prop in their play and recorded Red Lite Radio episodes from within.