A project by Hilary Powell in collaboration with the people, materials and landscapes of Purfleet.




Ring Cycle is an audio-visual symphony that transposes Wagner’s epic cast of gods and mortals into a contemporary Thameside landscape. From river maidens on concrete barges to exiled gods and flaming shopping trolleys, this allegory of industrial capitalism takes place on the fringes of London just inside its own ring of the M25.

This film with performed live score made in collaboration with THE CABINET OF LIVING CINEMA reveals Purfleet as a place where the toxic and angelic combine in a twenty-first century version of the sublime.  A mobile foley studio of found objects, played by local sound artists and accompanied by the voices of the Royal Opera House community chorus, sound the whoosh of wind turbines and the call of birds, bringing the film to vivid life. 

An outdoor launch screening of the 20 minute film with live soundtrack took place on FRIDAY 14TH JULY 2017. HIGH HOUSE PRODUCTION PARK, PURFLEET, RM19 1RJ

The screening was the pre-performance to the Big Screen relay of the opera Turandot organised by Royal Opera House Thurrock and the Backstage Centre.

Further screenings of Ring Cycle (with recorded soundtrack) at East End Film Festival, Thunderdance Festival, Delete TV, Silk River, Crossing the Screen, Suburbinale..


Stephen Cripp's studio award


The project is supported through the 2016-17 Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award, a major creative development opportunity based at High House Production Park in Thurrock, awarded to artist Hilary Powell. Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family, it forms part of Acme’s Residency & Awards Programme.

Named in memory of a pioneering ‘pyrotechnic sculptor’ the award encourages the selected artist to take risks, to challenge both themselves and their practice. It also allows for creative collaboration between the Park partners: High House Production Park Ltd, the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop & Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre, South Essex College, the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre and Acme.

More information on Hilary Powell at www.hilarypowell.com




A trolley load of Purfleet chalk is turning white cube to black box and mind/location map evolving to host the studio sessions of the ‘Boom and Bust Symphonia’ - live foley sound studio for the visionary landscape captured and created over the year and open to the public. 






Anna Russell’s parodic sketch and Bernard Shaw’s reading of Wagner’s epic ‘Der Ring des Niebelungen’ as a ‘poetic vision of unregulated industrial capitalism’ inspires this alternative ring cycle constructing and filming absurd, beautiful scenarios and temporary interventions in the strangely sublime and elemental landscape of Purfleet, just within London's outer ring - the M25. . Production stills by Tony O'Brien and Hilary Powell.  



Field recordings will fuse with live foley studio experiments to create the soundtrack to a film symphony of the beautiful, absurd and operatic landscape created and captured over this year.