Adrian Howells (1962 – 2014) was one of the world’s leading figures in the field of one to one and intimate performance. Over two decades he developed an artistic practice that focused on the particular power and transformative possibility that could be achieved through creating a profound, immediate and personal connection to his audiences. Through these works and the care he took in every aspect of the experience he was often able to deeply affect those who participated in these encounters.
The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance is an opportunity for a UK artist to develop and present an early staging of a new performance-based project in Glasgow and London. The Award aims to celebrate the intimate work that Adrian pioneered and exceled at, as well as providing an opportunity to explore new territories in the field of one to one and intimate performance.
The award is open to any proposal that seeks to explore the form of intimate performance. Some areas that you may wish to consider:
Applicants must be based in the UK and must have been working professionally for a minimum of three years.
You do not need a track record in intimate performance but you will need to demonstrate a commitment to exploring this field in your application.
Deadline for Submissions: 18:00 Friday 20 September
Interviews: Wednesday 2 October at Battersea Arts Centre, London
Glasgow performances as part of Take Me Somewhere Festival: Between May 13 and June 1 2020
London Presentation: The Sick of the Fringe Festival, London (Feb, 2021)
Please send proposals to [email protected] and provide up to two pages that include:
In addition you may also include:
If you would like to apply via a video message, please do so, and ensure it contains the same information as requested above, within a 5 minute maximum duration.
NB. We may not be able to provide detailed feedback on all proposals.
The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance is an opportunity for an artist to develop work and present a new performance based project in Glasgow as part of international performance festival Take Me Somewhere and in BAC, London. The Award aims to celebrate the intimate work that Adrian pioneered and exceled at, as well as providing an opportunity to explore new territories in this field of practice.
In recent decades intimate performance and one to one has emerged as a growing area in contemporary arts practice. Adrian’s legacy illustrates how powerful these experiences can be and how influential this work now is. When considering Adrian’s work we can define intimate performance practice as that which aims to connect at a direct and immediate level with a small audience including the form of one to one – the act of staging an event for one audience-participant at a time. We also recognise that exciting new developments in this field might offer further definitions, for example work that deliberately plays with and disrupts ideas of intimacy, authenticity and the relationship to the audience. (These definitions are informed by the new publication It’s All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells, edited by Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson.)
‘Howells would devise performance situations of ‘accelerated friendship’ that were often powerfully affecting and responsive to contemporary conditions of living …. provoked by his own personal questions – about love, intimacy, wellbeing, and learning, and the impediments life poses to these goals. His performances were therefore concerned fundamentally with care, safety, generosity, affirmation, and pleasure. Such affirmative aspirations were nevertheless tempered, in performance, with discomfort, embarrassment, risk, and grief, as sometimes-unwelcome effects of the practice of personal and intimate exposure…. [delivering] sophisticated insights into what it means to be together with another person in a social relation, to be connected, and, outside that provisional relation, what it means to be thrown back upon oneself once again, alone.’ Deirdre Heddon and Dominic Johnson
We would like to provide a creative opportunity to an artist who is passionate about this field and who would benefit from an opportunity to explore the complexities, challenges and risks that are inherent within this practice. We know that it would be impossible to replicate the unique combination of elements that defined Adrian Howells’ work. Rather we are looking for a project idea that looks to the future and is open to taking this area of performance forward in new and surprising directions. Although Adrian was perhaps best known for his one to one works we are not specifically looking for a proposal for one audience member. (Although this equally may be the awardee’s chosen practice). We have left this open to allow for contemporary interpretations and challenges to the form of intimate performance.
Adrian relished his roles as teacher and mentor, and he himself was driven to continuous learning both in academic contexts and through artistic residencies. We are interested in the quality of the awardee’s project idea and additionally we would also like this to be a developmental opportunity. Although we suggest that there is a public sharing at the end of the project we will work with the chosen artist to frame and contextualise the work in acknowledgment that given the project budget it may still be in process and development.
The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance is led by The National Theatre of Scotland, Battersea Arts Centre, The Sick of The Fringe and Take Me Somewhere Festival with support from the University of Glasgow and the Live Art Development Agency.
Banner image credit:
‘The Pleasure of Being’, Adrian Howells. Image by Niall Walker.
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