I am Director of Firstsite, Colchester where I have been for three years. With the team I have delivered a successful turn-around programme realigning Firstsite with a focused, relevant purpose.
In our award winning and radical building we present world class visual artists from around the world as well as those living on our doorstep in East Anglia. Headline artists have included Grayson Perry, Lubaina Himid and Cory Arcangel as well as Emily Mulenga, Elsa James, Gee Vaucher and Simon Carter.
We have worked hard as a team to transform Firstsite from a failing gallery to one which is now a rapidly growing business and creative proposition by thinking radically about equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of our work.
We have established programmes such as our Firstsite Holiday Fun programme whereby we provide free meals during school holidays for children normally in receipt of free school dinners during term-time. This has introduced many thousands of people to Firstsite who would not normally visit a gallery, connecting them with vital provisions, engaging them in free art activities and helping parents and carers to creatively acquire new employability skills.
Previously I was Head of Programme at Modern Art Oxford, Deputy Head of Culture for the Mayor of London, Chief Curator for London Underground, Director of Media Art – Bath and Residency Programme Manager at Spike Island, Bristol. I have also established a number of independent projects and programmes including an independent commercial gallery in Bristol – LOT – and an artist residency programme in an open prison in Gloucestershire.
One gallery, many things for different people
Sally Shaw – Firstsite Gallery, United Kingdom
Presented by Antonia Silvaggi