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Local Artist Spotlight: Hugo Williams

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Hugo Williams, Clowns In Crisis

Hugo Williams can’t wait to clown around. He is the driving force behind ‘Clowns in Crisis’ - an online web series aimed at children aged six to 12 years.

Featuring Hugo as a clown, the series will take a playful and hilarious look at how children have adapted to their home environments during lockdown in 2020.

The series will explore how daily routines have changed, what new habits have formed in the house, how the meaning of ‘home’ has shifted and what foods have proved too tempting.

Hugo is looking forward to bringing ‘Clowns in Crisis’ to life thanks to an Artist Project Grant of up to $4000 from Frankston City Council.

A Mornington Peninsula-based theatre maker, producer and director, Hugo said he was inspired by the notion that art could be a tool for discovery, empathy and catharsis.

“Clowns require an audience – a real human connection and response. I think these things are also major parts of what a community needs to function. A community needs people to interact together, meaningfully and with creativity,” he said.

“Finding a way to perform as a clown without a direct audience feels like my way of also trying to figure out how we can make the community work when we can’t meet and interact.”

Hugo said he hoped the web series brought joy and excitement to the Frankston community.

“I’m looking forward to working with the community and hearing some wacky stories and experiences that have happened during this time,” he added.

Hugo is a graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts – Theatre) and University of Melbourne. He has trained in clown and bouffon performance styles, enabling him to find the silly in the chaos.

As a performer, he has toured regional Victoria with Punctum Inc and their Green Room Award winning show ‘Public Cooling House’. He has also worked with the Arts Centre Melbourne on their production of ‘Huddle’.

Hugo said being recognised with the Arts Grant meant a lot.

“To keep the fire in the belly burning, to feel like you can do something of real worth. To connect with the community, rather than just thinking and practicing in a silo.”

Frankston Council has significantly expanded its Community and Business Grants program this year to support up to 16 artists and creatives.

This was a result of the $6.434 million Relief and Recovery Package, which the council created to help Frankston City recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arts grants are designed to help artists and those working in creative industries to pursue their passion while delivering culturally important work to the community.

They included Artist Project Grants each up to $4000 for eight artists to develop new works that can be presented online, on location or at a venue when restrictions allow.

There were also a further eight Creative Industries Professional Development Grants, each up to $2500, to support artists via further training, career development activities, mentorships and workshops.

Arts grant recipients must complete their projects by June, 2021.

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