Stephen Cripps (1952-1982) studied at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, from 1970-74, graduating with a BA in Fine Art. His dissertation was on Jean Tinguely, the Swiss kinetic artist who heavily influenced his early work. From 1975 Cripps lived and worked in a large studio at Butler’s Wharf, on the Thames. This large warehouse building also provided workspace for more than 100 other artists, but in 1979 they were moved out to make way for regeneration; that same year Cripps joined the London Fire Brigade.
Cripps’ association with Acme began in 1977 when he presented a live work as part of a short performance season. The following year, in 1978 he had the first of three solo shows at Acme Gallery, the second and third taking place in 1980 and 1981. Between 1976 and 1982 Cripps made dozens of solo and collaborative performances working with a wide range of artists, musicians and filmmakers and at a variety of different galleries and other venues in the UK, Europe and in New York. His most frequent collaborators were Anne Bean, Paul Burwell, David Toop and Richard Wilson. He died in London in 1982 shortly before his 30th birthday.