The 2016-17 Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award, a major creative development opportunity based at High House Production Park in Thurrock, has been awarded to multi-disciplinary artist Hilary Powell. Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family, it forms part of Acme’s Residency & Awards Programme, offering a unique resource and support structure for artists to develop their practice and realise planned or new projects.
Hilary is fascinated by the location of High House Production Park just within London’s outer ring and will explore the landscape’s potential for operatic soundscapes and absurdist visions to create a poetic drama of place. The surrounding logistics landscape, marshland and tidal zones are resource, scenography, collaborators and key characters in the plans afoot.
Hilary was selected by a panel comprising Matt Lane - Head of Royal Opera House Thurrock and Thames Gateway, Julia Lancaster - Senior Residency & Awards Manager, Acme, Fiona Haggerty - Residency & Awards Officer, Acme, and Morgan Quaintance - writer, musician and curator.
Speaking on behalf of the panel, Matt Lane said: “Hilary’s interest in urban change and creative salvage excited the selection panel and resonates strongly with Thurrock’s own landscapes. Hilary’s commitment to engaging with local communities and other locally-based agencies be they cultural or otherwise will no doubt lead to the creation of a ground-breaking residency. We are really looking forward to welcoming Hilary to High House Production Park.”
Starting in September 2016, this is the third and final year-long Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award which supports a selected artist through a large rent-free studio, £10,000 bursary and £10,000 towards production costs. Named in memory of a pioneering ‘pyrotechnic sculptor’, whose collection of work is now held within the Henry Moore Institute’s archive, the award encourages the selected artist to take risks, to challenge both themselves and their practice. It also allows for creative collaboration between the Park partners: High House Production Park Ltd, the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop & Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre, South Essex College, the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre and Acme.