Creativity and advocacy
- CREATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM: I’m a Creative Climate Leader, mainly through Climate Museum UK and Culture Declares Emergency
- SPEAKING: Talking and facilitating at conferences internationally on museums, ecology, learning and digital futures. I’ve given highly-rated keynote talks and workshops at conferences all over Europe.
- CREATIVE ART AND WRITING: Creative ecological projects. Painting, collage, poetry and illustration. A visual handbook called Find Your Flow and Change the World. Many articles, blogs, personal research and creative writing.
- PHOTOGRAPHY: See on Flickr and Instagram
- MUSIC: Singing with guitar. Classical training in violin, recorder, early music instruments and bassoon
- GOVERNANCE: Advisory group of Culture Unstained; climate advisor to Up Projects; former Parent Governor of the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology; former trustee of ONCA.
May 2018 – present: Founding Director of Climate Museum UK
Projects and achievements include:
- Activist Museum Award supported by University of Leicester, an enquiry into the links between climate and colonial histories, and exploring ideas for an ‘eco lens’ on digital cultural collections.
- Goldsmiths College: collaborative project on arts-based methods for engaging young people in the Earth crisis
- Imagine Futures: a programme and website for Festival Bridge in East Anglia, enabling young people to imagine possible futures in the Earth crisis
- Royal Academy Eco Visionaries exhibition – participatory workshop to create an Earth First city, and a pop-up installation of our collections.
- Hayward Gallery Among the Trees exhibition – training workshops for teachers, and workshop for three primary schools, linking climate and trees.
- Kings College London – a programme for students and public in response to the ‘Lost Girl’ exhibition
- Kirklees Declares – our Print It Yourself display was in a pop-up shop in Huddersfield with a programme of activities to explore the Earth crisis.
- Lewisham Local – running Creative Climate Conversations with Lewisham residents
March 2006-present: Founding Director of Flow Associates
I founded Flow Associates with Mark Stevenson, and since 2010 helped form a sister branch in India. Since 2015 my co-director is Susanne Buck. In 2019, I became part time to set up Climate Museum UK, and Alex Flowers joined Flow as a director.
In Flow, we bring teams of excellent people together to support cultural organisations with learning and digital strategies and research. Small selection of typical projects:
- Future Views: Research and creative consultative workshops for three Bridge organisations to imagine the future of cultural learning
- Scoping a Global Education Initiative and Children’s Programme for the Natural History Museum
- Developing Natural World principles for the Horniman Museum
- Evaluating the public engagement work for the Livestock, Environment and People research initiative at University of Oxford
- Evaluation of the Happy Museums Project
- Mapping the use of technology in the heritage sector to inform HLF policy
- Research to inform ACE strategy on commissioning digital services for children, young people and the education sector
- Evaluation of the National Museums Online Learning Project
- Advising English Heritage on collections, education and outreach strategy
- Advocacy for Open Culture digital strategy with Collections Trust & MLA
- Delivered the National Collections Online Study for national museums & Culture24
- Facilitation of schools creative enquiry projects for Creative Partnerships.
2002-2006 Head of Learning at the British Library
As a key member of the Senior Leadership Team, I was responsible for an organisation-wide learning strategy, I set up and managed the British Library Learning team, who ran workshops, major projects and websites based on principles of ‘creative enquiry’. The role included: Chair of Public & Learning Web Group; negotiating joint projects with BBC; developing new public exhibitions; partnerships with universities; representing BL on national education policies. I also devised three Strategic Commissioning projects for DCMS/DfES, including Campaign: make an impact, a successful nationwide project.
1999-2002 Cultural learning consultant, including:
- Teaching, training teachers and evaluating projects for many galleries and museums, including Tate Modern & Tate Britain
- Lead consultant for Clore Duffield Foundation (especially for The Artworks Awards)
- Co-ordinating museum partnerships for the Workers Educational Association
- Writing books & articles, published by engage review, The Art Book & Heinemann & editor of engagements, printed newsletter for gallery education
1998 Young at Art Coordinator, University of the Arts
I set up 40 courses, 12 awards, teacher training & careers initiative for 5 art colleges, for the first widening participation programme at the University of the Arts (previously the London Institute).
1993-1998 Education Officer, Tate Gallery
I managed the Tate Education programme for 100,000 school visitors, including teacher training, special projects, study days and education resources. This role included: Curating 15 project exhibitions; co-devising programmes for families, youth, art students and community groups; representing Education on the Displays Committee; helping to develop Tate Modern and the website www.tate.org.uk
1985-2000 Formative work experiences & traineeships, including:
- 1995-2000 engage (National Association for Gallery Education), executive for London organising training events, research projects and newsletters
- 1993: Brighton Hospital Arts, Cross-arts work with disabled people
- 1991: Brighton Museums & Art Gallery, Voluntary education assistant
- 1991: Teaching Art History at Brighton College of Technology
- 1990-1991: Sussex Archaeological Society, 1 year as a trainee and 3 months as Education Officer
- 1987: Brighton Museums & Art Gallery, voluntary exhibitions assistant
- 1985-6: Norwich Castle Museum, 1 year FT as curatorial assistant.
- 1998-2002: Chelsea College of Art & Design, MA in Art History
- 1991-1992: University of Brighton, Post Graduate Certificate in Education
- 1990-1991: BCT, City & Guilds Certificate in Further & Adult Education
- 1986-1989: University of Sussex, BA Hons in History of Art