Artist Residency at Hawkwood: Emma Williams
" ...this creative energy will have been kicked started by the atmosphere and ethos at Hawkwood. The centre's existence, the space it opens out for creativity, and the support it offers to artists is invaluable "
Creativity is an energy, it can blast through life’s disappointments and deliver immense pleasure. Not bad for something we can all do. But sometimes I find the obstacles overwhelming. Where is the time and space for this and can I even do it? I found Hawkwood an antidote to those feelings. It was a place of calmness and generosity where time and space were provided.
I am a theatre director and writer. My residency took place in Jan 2023. My project was to start transforming a podcast I had made for Bristol Museums into a piece of theatre. The subject matter was seven girls sent to the first ever reformatory school in England in the 1850’s. These girls led brutal and tragic lives. One girl was sentenced to four years at the reformatory school for stealing tulips from a garden. A year for each stem she stole. During my residency I would immerse myself into the research, then surface feeling shell shocked and battered. But I was at Hawkwood. Someone I didn’t now would make me lunch, prepare breakfast, leave out a biscuit and a cake. Or I would talk to a musician, a script writer, a performer, and we would share the success and failure of the day. Or I would just walk through an empty wood and let my brain be quiet. I was thankful and inspired so kept unpicking the complicated lives of seven girls forgotten by history.
I look forward to the script being developed. I want to see Mcnally, Ayckroyd and Crawford run wildly around the stage. If it does happen, this creative energy will have been kick started by the atmosphere and ethos at Hawkwood. The centres existence, the space it opens out for creativity, and the support it offers to artists is invaluable
Emma is a seasoned writer and theatre director with 20+ years of experience. She crafts collaborative performances across art forms for diverse audiences. Her versatile roles include director, facilitator, dramaturge, and writer. Emma frequently co-creates with prominent groups like Opposable Thumbs, Pickled Image, Green Ginger, Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet, and more. She has directed at renowned venues like The Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bath Theatre Royal, and The Bristol Old Vic. Emma’s outdoor productions have graced stages at Cheltenham Literary Festival, Dorset Wildlife Trust, and National Theatre of Wales. Notably, she helmed the successful two-month run of “MDH: Puppets do a Movie” at the Wardrobe Theatre.