ARTIST FLINGS HIMSELF AT THE GALLERY WALL by Aaron Williamson, Club Row, London, 31st October 2008
Performance sculptor Aaron Williamson has been selected for the inaugural Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award. The award is a major creative development opportunity for artists whose practice is rooted in sculpture which embraces elements of light, movement, machinery, sound or performance and is based at Acme Studios’ new-build studios at High House Production Park in Thurrock.
Aaron Williamson was selected by a panel comprising Jonathan Harvey, Chief Executive Acme Studios; Ingrid Swenson, Director PEER; Emma Troubridge, Head of Scenic Art Royal Opera House and Richard Wilson, artist. Richard explains the panel’s decision:
“Aaron’s convincing interview showed not only his commitment to the High House Production Park site, connecting with its neighbours and his fellow artists but also adopting the spirit of Stephen Cripps and his approach to working. It was clear he had given the award a lot of thought to the point of carefully programming the first few months of investigation and play as a full-time resident at the site. The key words here were ‘immersing, initiating and participating’.”
Aaron has opted to rent a work/live space within the studio building during the award year. His proposal for the award is to maintain a year-long, ever-evolving 'living studio' that can be visited at any time by appointment. Aaron explains, “In this, the studio itself is the work with myself as its operative, creating transient sculptural works through performative processes.”
The initial Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award programme consists of three one-year awards, running successively from October 2013. Each award will provide a rent-free large ground-floor ‘production’ studio, a £10,000 bursary and £10,000 towards project realisation costs.
The Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award provides a resource and support structure from which artists can develop their practice and realise and present planned or new projects. The award, based at new-build, purpose-designed studios at High House Production Park, Thurrock, will not only celebrate the work of Stephen Cripps (1952-1982), an important ‘pyrotechnic sculptor’, but also help make manifest the vision for the Park and the potential for creative collaboration between its partners: High House Production Park Ltd, the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop, the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre and Acme Studios.
The Award is funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps' family. The award runs for one year from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 followed immediately by the second award.