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 (Take Me Somewhere festival) and London (Battersea Arts Centre). The Award aims to celebrate the intimate work that Adrian pioneered and excelled at, as well as providing an opportunity to explore new territories in the field of one to one and intimate performance. The Award provides £4,000 project commission towards the awardee’s fee and expenses in the development and presentation of the proposed project and performances.

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The winner of the 2019 Adrian Howells Award is Rhiannon Armstrong, an interdisciplinary artist with over a decade of experience making works with empathy, interaction and dialogue at their core, often with unfiltered audiences in mind. Rhiannon makes work under the lifelong series title Instructions for Empathetic Living. That work often involves one-to-one and intimate encounters, whether it’s live work in public settings (Public Selfcare System and Can I Help You?), or part of web-based and audio pieces (The Slow GIF Movement and The International Archive of Things Left Unsaid).

'‘Receiving The Adrian Howells Award is providing me with the inspiration and opportunity to build a creative process where I will for the first time engage explicitly with my autobiography as a creative force. I hope to bring this process (which I think of as a “live reckoning”) together with other ongoing explorations, such as witnessing intimacy in public space, touch as a form of listening, and the research and performance of lullabies that express a wish to harm. I intend to explore the creation of an immersive performance environment where vulnerability and pain can co-exist with the embodied experiences of safety, rhythm and intimacy that are needed in trauma recovery.”

Image by Ben Gregory.

The 2018 winner was Amy Rosa, who will present at the 2019 festival.
The 2017 winner was Nic Green.

The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance is led by the National Theatre of Scotland, Battersea Arts Centre and Take Me Somewhere Festival with support from the University of Glasgow and the Live Art Development Agency.