OUR STUDIO COMMUNITY
At CLAY we have a blossoming community who have made a base here through our membership programme. There are 12 artists and companies who subscribe to studio space here with a wide range of practices focused around liveness.
Our studios are brimming with collaboration and development. We are grateful to house a wonderful family of practitioners, scroll down to find out more about them!
We currently have no studios available.
The Grief Series
Performance, Design, Photography, Installation and Sculpture
The Grief Series is a sequence of seven projects by Leeds-based artist Ellie Harrison. Each instalment is a collaboration with another artist working in a different field including performance, design, photography, installation and sculpture. The Grief Series is multi-sensory with audiences being engaged as participants and co-creators. Informed by rigorous research with academics, clinicians and the public, the series aims to create safe spaces where notions of grief and bereavement can be discussed and expressed openly through a range of empowering creative practice.
Ellie Harrison is a performance maker and artist living in Leeds and working internationally. She creates a range of solo and collaborative devised performance work for studios, galleries, found and public spaces. Participation is at the heart of all of her work as a performer, facilitator and mentor of young people. Her work is often characterised by a playful and provocative approach to difficult topics, encouraging audiences to make decisions and participate. In 2015 Ellie won A Love Arts award for her work on The Grief Series. Working on Grief Series has seen Ellie travel to Prague, Paris, Mexico City, Sibiu Festival and Timisoara Romania. The Projects in The Grief Series have gained national press attention. She has been invited to speak on Radio 4's Women’s Hour and has been included in Lynn Gardner’s theatre pick of the year.
Performance, Pro-wrestling and Drag
Hannah Lawless: by day an NHS nurse and by night a professional wrestler, drag king and performance artist. They use wrestling on cabaret and digital stages to make satirical, political and queer performance. Whilst counterbalancing the intensity of their job with the silliness of their art, they carry that tension through to their process, juxtaposing potent messages with ridiculous and camp. By framing wrestling in a Live Art context they politicise violence in a literal call to action whilst contradicting it with an irreverent tone.
“Wrestling is essentially drag: a physical performance with elaborate costumes, storytelling and characters. Wrestling is always good guy vs bad guy- and it is almost always guys.”
Lawless started wrestling as concepts (Brexit, the patriarchy, Karen) because wrestling is an absurd way to explore cultural discourse (why did we vote Leave, why do white women behave in this way?) with humour and spectacular delivery.
Their work enables the audience to participate in exploring rage: how it’s expressed and who’s allowed to do so. They make space for the pro wrestling trope encouraging spectators to scream, boo and cheer. The audience has a voice and their role in the piece is vital, they can make or break a performance. Lawless wants people to scream about injustice, Covid, the inequalities in our society because it’s cathartic, good for mental health, and particularly important in the context of the pandemic as people are angry and isolated.
At a Hannah Lawless show expect to cheer, boo, and dive deep into the issues via pro wrestling – the ultimate form of queer physical theatre.
Theatre Set Designer & Builder
Matt Sykes-Hoban is a set & prop designer and maker of over 20 years standing in the industry. He has an extensive CV of scenic design credits working on a wide variety of projects ranging from, traditional box sets, dance performance, mid-scale touring productions, TIE, puppetry, festival work, outdoor promenade performance and multi-media projects. He works with many companies local to Yorkshire, nationally and further afield.
Based at CLAY in Leeds, where along with the scenic and prop work, he creates bespoke furniture and crafts for people of Yorkshire and beyond. He has a special interest in working with reclaimed materials, hacking and upcycling old unloved furniture into new and desirable pieces for the home and garden.
Theatre Designer and Builder
Writer, Researcher and Performer
Hi, I’m Phoenix Andrews. I’m interested in internet cultures, telly, civil rights, art, performing, comedy and being more human. I’m disabled, trans and bisexual and often filthy. I like chips, music, art and culture. I write theatre and non-fiction, perform weird conceptual drag and make things out of leather.
Sculpture, Installation, and Performance
Hello, I am Annabelle Richmond-Wright. I am an artist working across sculpture, installation, and performance. I also teach creative wellbeing to adults with mental health challenges.
At the moment, I am creating a new body of sculptural work that will use a ritual based performance to examine the intersection of reproductive and sexual health and the patriarchal structures that currently and historically exist within the medical establishment.