Polly lives and studies in Birmingham. After recently graduating she is now continuing to develop her own practice, which investigates transforming items of the everyday, and soon begins postgraduate studies in Arts and Educational Practices. She believes that creativity should be accessible to all members of society, be openly engaging, caring and connected; and hopes to continue building a way of working that grows around these values.
Ruth Claxton is an artist and organiser. As an artist her work has been shown nationally and internationally and in 2012 she won the Arts Foundation’s Yoma Sasburg Sculpture Fellowship. She is Associate Director of Eastside Projects and works with Gavin Wade to imagine and run the organisation, curating and producing projects and exhibitions and leading on the development of artists support programmes including EOP and The Syllabus.
In 2014 she published the Birmingham Production Space proposal which led to STEAMhouse where she supports artists to make new work and develop their skills, practices and businesses. She is a Company Director and one of Eastside Projects’ founders.
She works four days a week and her salary is £28,013 (£35,016 pro rata)
Matthew Foster is from a fine art background and began his career working with gallery technical teams. He established Plane Structure in 2011 to fulfil a need for skilled art fabricators in Birmingham. Since then the company and its workshop has grown to deliver specialist carpentry and joinery as well as gallery installation.
Matt regularly works with us on a freelance basis to realise exhibitions and projects.
Amelia Hawk is the EOP and Public Programmer. Her most memorable experience to date was camping in the gallery as part of the Artist Led Multiverse Summit in 2018, precariously sleeping under a Jenny Holzer.
As well as working at Eastside Projects, Amelia is an artist and activist. Her work often begins as conversations and materialises as performance, installation, clothing and publications. She has recently become interested in centring care for others in her work and as a result is undertaking counselling training. Amelia regularly performs and exhibits across the UK and Norway (where she studied her MA at Kunstakademiet i Oslo).
Notably she has exhibited at National Gallery, Prague; Intercultural Museum, Oslo; Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki; Luda Gallery, St Petersburg; and performed in numerous international festivals such as SPILL Festival, The Festival of Northern Norway, Stockholm Fringe Festival.
In 2020 she started the podcast OTHERWISE SILENT giving a voice to issues and people that are often unheard.
She works three days a week and her salary is £15,000 p/a (£25,000 pro rata).
Yas Lime is an artist-curator trainee at Eastside Projects. They are interested in contemporary art that highlights queerness, gender, religion and culture.
Yas enjoys getting their hands dirty when it comes to their practice, using whatever materials are at hand. This has recently included wax, glue, dried fruits, wheat and cardboard.
Yas also maintains a photography practice and is a 2020 recipient of a GRAIN bursary and an artist in residence at Ort Gallery for the group show ‘Recipes for Resistance’ (2020).
They work four days a week and their salary is paid at Real Living Wage £14,508 p/a (£18,135 pro rata).
Rose has been helping us keep Eastside Projects clean and tidy since 2020. She is contracted through DST Cleaning Services
Candice Nembhard is a writer, poet, artist, and curator, based between Birmingham and Berlin.
Her work has been exhibited at The Volksbühne (Berlin), Birmingham Hippodrome (Birmingham), BOZAR (Brussels), Kunstverein (Hamburg), Soho House (Berlin), Hebbel Am Ufer Theatre (Berlin), and Galerie Wedding (Berlin).
Candice is the founder and curator of the event series ALL FRUITS RIPE, co-founder of the arts collective Poet & Prophetess, and co-producer of The R.A.P Party Berlin.
She works four days a week and her salary is paid at Real Living Wage £14,508 p/a (£18,135 pro rata).
Suzi is a freelance art technician and maker based in Birmingham who studied sculpture at the Slade School of Art. She is a maker of functional ceramics and a member of Modern Clay co-op; a co-working and public project space run by its artist members.
Zoë is a curator and creative practitioner currently working between Birmingham and Leeds. In her role as Offsite Curator at Eastside Projects she develops and curates EP’s projects and programmes beyond the gallery such as Susan Philipsz’ Station Clock in Birmingham, the Park Life series of useful public artworks in Banbury and the Link & Shift artists residency and walks programme currently in Chelmsley Wood.
She previously worked as Curator at Project Space Leeds and The Tetley from 2007-17, commissioning and producing large-scale commissions, exhibitions and events with artists including Simeon Barclay, Joseph Buckley, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Dora Garcia, Lubaina Himid and Rehana Zaman.
In her independent practice she initiated and ran theartmarket + Kunstfreund Gallery in Leeds from 2006-12 and has been a co-director of practitioner-led collective Mexico since co-founding it in 2011. She is a director of Corridor 8 art writing platform and an advisory board member of the East Leeds Project.
She works four days a week and her salary is £25,000 p/a (£31,250 pro rata).
Neisa Reid of NTR Book-Keeping Services is an independent ICB bookkeeper with over 20 years’ experience, providing a range of accounting services for Freelancers, startups, small to medium businesses and Not for profit Organisations. Neisa and her colleagues work with us two days a month, on a freelance basis.
She has been keeping out finances in order since 2012.
Gavin Wade is an artist-curator, Director of Eastside Projects, and Senior Research Fellow at Birmingham City University. His (co)curated exhibitions include ‘Sonia Boyce: In the Castle of My Skin’ (2020), ‘This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things X’ (2018), and ‘Display Show’ (2015–16), Temple Bar Gallery/Eastside Projects/Stroom den Haag.
Gavin makes/has made art on twitter, in public squares, shopping malls, naval frigates, cathedrals, Commons, Parks, The London Underground, Dudley Zoo, and the future Smithfield Market in the centre of Birmingham (2025). His books include ‘Upcycle This Book’ (2017) and ‘Has Man A Function In Universe’ (2008), both published by Book Works. He is a Company Director and one of Eastside Projects’ founders.
He works full time and his salary is £41,528 p/a.
Bob Ghosh is an Architect, urban regeneration specialist, property and land adviser. He joined the Advisory Board in 2017 and has been Chair since 2018. Bob is the Founder and Director at K4 Architects.
Prior to starting his own practice, he spent 7 years as a Director of Glenn Howells Architects, working on various prestigious commissions. Since then, he has completed numerous major projects in Birmingham, Manchester, London and West Yorkshire.
Simon Bloor is a Company Director and one of Eastside Projects’ founders. He is an artist, working collaboratively with his brother Tom.
Their works and projects explore the histories and fabric of the built environment and the associated dichotomy of creation through destruction. Simon Was born in Birmingham where he continues to live and work.
Tom Bloor is a Company Director and one of Eastside Projects’ founders. As an artist he shares a collaborative practice with his twin brother Simon.
Their works and projects stem from a shared experience of growing up in a post-industrial city and its legacy of post-war regeneration.
Vanley Burke is a British Jamaican photographer and artist, who has been described as “the Godfather of Black British Photography”. His body of work represents possibly the largest photographic record of the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain.
From local community organisations to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Whitechapel Gallery, Vanley has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and as far afield as New York, South Africa and China. He lives and works in Birmingham and joined the Advisory Board in 2020.
Anna Horton Cremin is an artist based in Manchester. Her practice uses games and play to bring people together in new and unexpected ways.
She was Operations Assistant at Eastside Projects from 2015–16 and is member of EOP. She joined the Advisory Board in 2017.
Sumaya Kassim is a writer, curator and critic. Her work has appeared in The Good Journal, Media Diversified, the Sandburg Institute, and many zines. She was a Fellow at Tropen Museum (2019) and a Project Researcher at UAL’s Decolonising Art Institute (2020).
She is currently writing her first novel. She joined the Advisory Board in 2020.
Kelly Large is a curator, artist and educator. Her multi-disciplinary practice engages with acts of public appearance and the potency of visibility and presence.
Currently she is a tutor on the Curating Contemporary Art Programme at Royal College of Art. She joined the Advisory Board in 2017.
Paul McKeown is a Director at BDO Accountants where he is Head of Valuations in the Midlands and the North with 30 years of experience. He is a keen art collector and joined the Advisory Board after discovering Eastside Projects and the work of EOP members at a Contemporary Arts Society event in London.
He provides financial expertise and diligence and has been a member of the Advisory Board since 2012.
Andrea Phillips is a writer and organiser in contemporary art. She is Director of the BXNU Institute which develops research, events and exhibitions as part of Northumbria University’s partnership with the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
She joined the Advisory Board in 2017.
Nathan Tromans is Associate Professor and Head of Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts at Birmingham City University. He has worked in the School of Visual Communication for over 20 years, as a visiting tutor, lecturer, Course Director and Deputy Head and was appointed to the role of Head of School in 2015.
He is a Photographer with a keen interest in contemporary art and music. He joined the Advisory Board in 2020.
I am passionate about Life, (a Life Adventurer, Unique). I love learning and everything Eco Friendly and enjoy theatre acting and doing spoken word performances. An advocate for social and environmental justice, I work with a local campaigning group to empower people to be sustainable and reach out to diverse communities for the arts, to learn new skills and to support personal growth.
I am a Birmingham based, South African-born artist. I studied at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and Royal Academy of Arts in London. I have exhibited both nationally and internationally (but not in Birmingham yet!), working in paint, film, sculpture and installation.
My name is …kruse, I am a visual artist, writer and autism advocate. Because I am a neurodivergent person coupled with the recognition that I’m not a singular entity (hello gut bacteria) I identify as a cyborg, a being that is both human and other.
As a practitioner, I am curious to better understand what it means to occupy a traditional arts space, and more so, what it means for those without ‘cultural capital’. I question what responsibilities institutions and individual educators have to create environments which are as meaningful as they are inclusive.
Anam Zafar is a translator, refugee rights activist and printmaker. She has volunteered at Eastside Projects since 2014 and is now a Cultural Citizen. Volunteering has encouraged her to incorporate creativity into her translation and activism work and to take up printmaking in her spare time.