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Creative Endeavours

Australian born Jules Wright (1948-2015) nurtured original female talent through the Women’s Playhouse Trust and founded The Wapping Project in 1981. Wright was the first resident female director at the Royal Court, having previously worked at another theatre that stood for bold, anti-establishment work – the Theatre Royal at Stratford East. Under the ever-increasing austerity measures of 1980s Thatcherite Britain, society remained starved of funding and opportunity. Alongside urban decline and the disintegration of industries, the cultural milieu was embedded with poverty. Within this context, Wright challenged a regime that aimed to shrink creative forums. Through many acts of defiance she protested extensive funding cuts, positing the idea that theatre was needed more than ever. Aware of the male-dominated nature of the arts world, she contested the lack of female input, deciding to actively change this trend.

Continuing the development of ideas and people, The Wapping Project remains a platform for commissioning, nurturing and championing potential. The death of the company’s driving force evoked a state of transition, transformation and transience, reminding us of the potential for change in beginnings and endings. The project continues to enable artists to work with unrestrained ambition, and in memory of Jules Wright, have set up an award to celebrate inspired works. The new Prize was launched in 2015 as a partnership with Film London.

The £5,000 prize is for female technical and craft based roles within moving image production in the UK. By highlighting hidden roles that are indispensable yet often overlooked, the accolade recognises the input of many experts and identifies strong female voices. In 2016, editor Lucy Harris received the Prize for her sensitive approach to the rhythmic and conceptual structure of a diverse range of works, including Rosalind Nashashibi. The shortlist for 2017 focuses on sound designers including Zhe Wu who works worldwide as a re-recording mixer. In 2010, she received two Verna Fields nominations for Golden Reels Awards from the MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) in Los Angeles and a Best Sound nomination from the British Animation Awards. Wu worked with filmmaker Sarah Turner on two feature films Perestroika and Public House as well as an installation The Running Tongue, with Siobhan Davies and David Hinton.

Chu-Li Shewring is also a filmmaker and sound designer, and a visiting sound tutor at UCL and the National Film and Television School. Hunger (2008) by Steve McQueen, was one of her first collaborative experiences. Her most recent pieces are with Frances Scott on her film installation CANWEYE { } (2016), and her archival film Diviner. Lastly Beatrice Dillon is a composer, sound designer and producer based in London who has released critically acclaimed solo work, remixes and collaborative albums across Boomkat Editions, PAN, The Trilogy Tapes and Where To Now? Aside from her own solo work, she is currently developing new commissions for Eddie Peake, Jorinde Voigt and Paul Purgas, as well as musical collaborations with Kassem Mosse and Thomas Brinkmann.

The recipient of this year’s Prize will be revealed on 20 November. Further information can be found at: www.thewappingproject.org

Credits:
1. Beatrice Dillon, Florence Peake and Anne Tetzlaff, Untitled, 2017. Courtesy of Wysing Arts Centre.