What is your role at Arts at University of Southampton?
My role is Arts and Culture Coordinator, working with Louise Coysh, Associate Director (Arts and Culture), to help facilitate all the exciting things that Arts at University of Southampton has to offer. I’ll be working with colleagues across the University and beyond to promote our world-renowned arts offer to students and the wider community, including our concert hall Turner Sims Southampton , John Hansard Gallery and our associate organisation Nuffield Southampton Theatres.
Our current team of student Arts Ambassadors, Molly, Kate and Thea will also be working with me getting stuck in to share the best of Southampton and Winchester’s art scenes.
Alongside all this, I’ll be working with the wider Arts UoS team to deliver some big, city-wide projects we’ve got lined up for 2020/2021!
Tell us about your background. What did you do before you came to the University?
I studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, graduating in 2012. Since then I’ve done a whole host of different things, with the first three years after graduating mainly consisting of casual and freelance work for a variety of organisations and people. I worked for a few different artists and volunteered or worked for several Southampton organisations, including our very own John Hansard Gallery.
During that time, I also ran an artist run-space in Southampton called HA HA Gallery with my good friend and artist Liv Fontaine. Liv and I first met at a John Hansard Gallery event during their show Anti Academy and we bonded over the fact that we had both not long graduated from Chelsea. The Gallery was born shortly after in an empty shop on Old Northam Road in St Mary’s and we quickly developed a reputation for a dynamic programme of shows, exhibiting artists from around the country and the world as well as showcasing Southampton talent. Highlights included a six-week season of shows funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and a commission to run a programme of activity as part of the British Art Show Fringe in 2016.
Since 2015, I’ve worked at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire. It’s the cottage at which Austen lived for the last eight years of her life and where she wrote, revised or had published all her novels. I started as Collections Trainee, moving on to a become Marketing and Brand Officer, finally finishing up as Marketing Manager, covering for my colleague’s maternity leave. Being a small team, you ended up doing a bit of everything which was a real joy and a great way to gain experience.
What excites you most about your new role?
I’m most excited by the prospect of (hopefully!) positively influencing the lives and experience of students here at the University. Opening up meaningful access to the arts for as many people as possible and facilitating enriching cultural experiences are my goals.
I’m also particularly eager to get started on our new project, Connecting Culture, funded by Arts Council England. The project seeks to embed the role of children and young people at the heart of cultural activity in Southampton, giving a voice to our cultural leaders of the future. Read all about it here.
I’m interested in getting more involved in the arts at the University – how do I get in touch with you?
If you’ve got any questions about Arts at University of Southampton, please do get in touch! You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit southampton.ac.uk/arts for more information. My normal working days are Monday-Wednesday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.