Founded in 1953, Harlow Art Trust (HAT), is the custodian of a nationally significant collection of over 100 public sculptures, which includes work by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink. Since 2016, HAT has partnered with the Royal College of Art, Pearsons Education, the Public Monuments & Sculpture Association Harlow College, and ACAVA studios to run an annual sculpture residency for a graduating RCA MA Sculpture student. Recipients to date have been Finn Thomson (2016/17), Paloma Proudfoot (2017/18) Camille Yvert (2018/19) and Meriel Clarke (2019/20).
The STAIR is provided with a studio in the centre of town and bursaries for materials, travel and subsistence. There is no brief or direction imposed on the artist as to what may be produced during their residency, so long as they challenge themselves through the environment of Harlow and a ‘thing/s’ are made for a solo exhibition at the Gibberd Gallery. During the residency the STAIR takes the lead in primary, secondary and tertiary level education workshops supported by Harlow College and the Public Monuments & Sculpture Association. After their exhibition a piece of artwork is selected for donation to Harlow Art Trust’s collection.