2015 to present
The main focus of my consultancy is research, evaluation, consultation and organisational planning. Among my current and recent clients are Tate, Arts Council England, Bletchley Park and Compton Verney. I often work with associates to bring together the right set of skills for the job.
As director of this web-based brokerage service for UK artists and makers, I led the re-brand and capital rebuild of the site, introduced new media-rich editorial content, established a film-making service and put in place a national programme of roadshows, seminars and mentoring for artists, curators and writers.
Tate, Contemporary Art Society, CapeUK, Creative Partnerships, MLA, engage and the North West Museums Hub were just some of the organisations I worked with. Highlights included programming the 2008 Engage International Conference on gallery education and a £200K Nesta-funded arts and science project in schools in Leeds and Manchester for CapeUK. For HLF, I monitored such projects as the Brunel 200 celebrations in the South West, North Ronaldsay Lighthouse and the Sainsbury Centre's Culture of the Countryside.
Museums and Galleries Manager, Walsall
I joined the service just as the New Art Gallery project received the go-ahead and was involved in planning all aspects of the new building. Walsall's exemplary collection displays and approach to audience development set a benchmark for the lottery projects that followed. In addition, I had overall responsibility for the borough's social history museums.
My curatorial career began in Southport, where I was Keeper of Fine Art at the Atkinson Art Gallery (1983-5). I was then Art and Exhibitions Officer in Worcester (1985-9), before joining Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as a curator in the Art Department, with particular responsibility for painting and sculpture.
As Chair of Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum from 2006-12, I helped a consortium of visual arts venues work together on the Art Sheffield biennials and an ongoing programme of audience engagement. I've also served on the boards of YorkshireArtspace Society and Craftspace in Birmingham. For several years I was a mentor for the Associateship of the Museums Association.
I co-taught an undergraduate course on American Abstract Expressionism at the University of Birmingham in 1995 and subsequently delivered a Gallery Studies module for final-year Art History students at the University of Nottingham in 2001 and 2003.
Public speaking and media appearances
I've lectured at the Royal Academy, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and regularly take part in conference panels. Media appearances include interviews for radio (Today programme, Woman's Hour, Radio 2 and Radio Sheffield) and a television documentary, presented by Michael Palin, about the Scottish Colourists for BBC Scotland and BBC Two.
I am a member of the Museums Association and the Group for Education in Museums.
University of Manchester
Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, 1981-2
The Courtauld Institute of Art
M.Phil in the History of Art (modern period), 1979-81
St Anne's College, Oxford
BA Hons in History and French, 1975-9