Rob Brannen

Rob Brannen is Head of the School of Arts at De Montfort University. The School contains programmes in Arts & Festivals Management, Dance, Drama, Fine Art, Foundation Art & Design, Photography & Video and Performing Arts.

Rob has published, presented papers and led workshops in the areas of pedagogy and performance, new theatre writing and the politics of arts funding.

Rob is a Teacher Fellow of De Montfort University, holds a National Teaching Fellowship award for individual excellence in teaching and is Vice-President of the International University Theatre Association.

Veronica Pickering

Veronica Moraa Pickering was born in Kisii, Kenya and moved to the UK with her family in 1968, settling in Nottinghamshire in 1970s. For over 25 years Veronica has worked to support children, families and communities in difficult social and personal difficulites. Her work has focused on assessing the needs of diverse communities and also specific individual needs. She has been appointed and worked closely with the UK courts and by the UN, NGO's and local authorities here in the UK. Veronica has worked for many years as personal coach supporting individuals to achieve and set individual goals. She is currently working as a consultant with Nottingham Trent University.

Veronica is a board member and trustee of a number of organisations in Nottinghamshire. Veronica has for many years been a strong supporter of the arts and its life changing benefits to society. She is married to artist and painter Roy Pickering and has had experience of organising numerous exhibitions and major arts events both in the UK and abroad.

In May 2013 Veronica was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Notttinghamshire.

Huw Davies

Huw Davies is Dean of the College of Arts and Professor of Lens Media at the University of Derby. As filmmaker, photographer and curator his work has included commissions for many national and international agencies and broadcasters including the BBC, Discovery Channel, Arte and Canal + as well as being screened at film festivals in over twenty-five countries. Huw has an active involvement in a number of arts and cultural organizations and currently sits on the boards of QUAD, Derby Theatre and FORMAT International Photography Festival. In 2004 he co-founded the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, an Arts Council NPO based in England’s most northerly town. He was its Artistic Director until 2008 and is currently Chair of its Board of Trustees and Co-Curator.

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As head of department for fashion, textiles and knitwear, Amanda  oversees undergraduate courses BA Fashion, Textiles, Knitwear and Accessories as well as post-graduate provision in the area. In 2012/13 Amanda co-organised a season, Lace:Here:Now, of acclaimed events which involved all the key cultural venues within Nottingham receiving national and regional media coverage. Through her work with the NTU lace archive Amanda has been awarded funding from the AHRC and worked as PI on a project in 2008. Currently she is working with Nottingham University on a project involving lace and 'aestheticodes'. Amanda’s book with Laurence King 'Printed Textile Design' was published in September 2013.

Norman Cherry

Norman Cherry was formerly Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln. Currently he practices as an independent artist, curator, and consultant. An internationally recognised expert in the field of jewellery, prior to his appointment at Lincoln in 2008, he was Head of the renowned Birmingham School of Jewellery. His work has been exhibited extensively internationally and many of his pieces are held in private and public collections throughout the world. One of his medals is held by the British Museum in their Contemporary Collection. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences and has undertaken consultancies in several countries, including Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and Jordan. He is also a Visiting Professor at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia.

His curation projects have included several international exhibitions, most notably “Transplantation: a Sense of Place and Culture”, a significant exhibition of work by Australian and British jewellery artists which is currently touring Australia until August 2015.

He has a particular interest in how artists and designers think and act, especially how creativity is informed by drawing and the haptic process: the way our brains react to materials and their unique properties. His book “Jewellery Design and Development: from concept to object”, published by Bloomsbury in 2013, examines the creative processes of several international jewellery artists as they record specific projects from ideas generation through to completed objects.


David is Head of Art and Design at the University of Derby and is responsible for the delivery of this broad curriculum area, from fine art to fashion, textiles to Interior, graphic design through to illustration, animation to product design.

David has a background in product design and related fields and was an early adopter 3D modelling and rapid prototyping and a keen advocate of the benefits these bring to the design process. The integration of digital processes within traditional design has been a key part of his pedagogy and approach to curriculum design.

David has spent a large part of his HE experience working collaboratively with UK, EU and partners overseas. A key supporter of TNE in its broadest sense, he has worked extensively in China and Malaysia amongst other countries, and is well versed in leading and supporting curriculum developments in the EU and OS markets.




Deborah Dean is the Visual Arts Collections & Exhibitions Manager for Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, based at Nottingham Castle. Her role, with the support of her team, includes overall responsibility for exhibitions, commissioning artists and for the city’s collections of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Costume and Textiles and the Newstead Abbey collection. She has been at the castle since 2007 and is currently leading on the re-display of the art collections as part of the castle's major transformation project.

Prior to this she was Director of Angel Row Gallery Nottingham (1998-2007), during which time she also worked for the City Council on the development of Nottingham Contemporary (2003-2007). She was Manager of Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum (1990-1998) and a board member of Beacon Art Project from 2007-2015. She is currently on the Steering Group of Contemporary Visual Arts, East Midlands Visual Arts.




Martin Knox works with design, with cultures, he delivers within the spirit of organisations. How they are conceived, trusted, packaged and presented, delivered and received. Sales and profit grow.

Martin has worked with: Next, Sainsbury’s, Boots, BHS, The Post Office, M&S, Schuh, Cancer Research UK, Dixons, Help the Aged, Early Learning Centre, Start-Rite, Poundland, Magnet, Converse, Kangol...amongst others

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Gary is co-founder and director of Animate Projects, curating and producing projects at the intersection of film, animation and art. He also works as a Film Programme Manager at the British Council, the UK’s cultural relations organisation. He leads on film for East Asia and China and he is  the Film team’s specialist on animation, experimental moving image, and cross art form practice. He coordinates the advocacy group Animation Alliance UK; he’s a trustee of the National Dance Company of Wales and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


 Michelle Bowen

Michelle Bowen

A highly experienced cultural and creative sector leader and manager with a career including senior positions in the strategic cultural agencies and funding system at both the Arts Council England and Craft Council. Leading and managing major organisational and programme development projects, as well offering as host of client services to both organisations and creative individuals. Thoroughly committed to artistic excellence and driving high quality practice particularly across the contemporary visual arts. She builds trustful influential relationships with colleagues and partners bringing local, national and international contacts and networks to any role. As Strategic Director Michelle will be developing and delivering new partnerships and programmes for UKYA and ensuring that UKYA is the leading organisation for cross disciplinary working, intercultural dialogue and supporting new creative talent from across the UK.


Tina Smith
Business Development Manager

Tina is responsible for fundraising and developing relationships with public and private sources; and developing, implementing and maintaining UK Young Artists fundraising strategy and evolving fundraising action plan. Tina’s educational background is in visual arts and literature but she has worked across all art forms - working at the Arts Council for over 10 years in building partnerships to secure support for artists/arts organisations and creative industry sector development. More recently working freelance on festivals and with a theatre company who specialise in music, dance and puppetry providing multi-sensory experiences. She has an extensive knowledge of arts development practices and a history of securing significant investment from EU funding, public sector and Trusts and Foundations.

 Laura Evans

Laura Evans
Marketing and Communications Manager

At UK Young Artists, Laura is responsible for spreading the message far and wide and attracting diverse and high quality artist submissions for UKYA’s activities. She also works in marketing and project management for two other festivals in the region, and as a part-time lecturer at De Montfort University. As a graduate of DMU MA Performance Practices and BA Performance and Digital Arts, her specialism lies in contemporary performance with digital technologies and she is co-artistic director of theatre and film company, A Bang in the Void. 

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Aja is an artist and freelance arts marketing and graphic design professional who has worked on a number of regional and national projects and commissions including Rough Trade, Seismik, Spanky Van Dykes and The Old Angel.

As an artist, AJA uses unsettling noise, distressed screams, hand made electronics and found objects pushed through pedals.  Aja has so far had her music played at Berlin Alternative Fashion Week for designer LU LA LOOP, played live on NTS Radio and after making the sound score for artist Joey Holder for the piece “Ophiux” she was nominated for the Oram Award funded by PRS foundation. You can hear her latest release, featuring on Perc's new album “Bitter Music” on the track “Spit”.



As a graduate of Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University (2017), Micky is now a practicing artist specialising in concept driven installation, sculpture and textile based work. “Acting as a cathartic process to deal with personally challenging experiences and as an investigation into interiors; biological and decorative, my practice utilises juxtaposition to create evocative yet nonspecific reverie.

Soft next to hard, raw against polished, plush and plain, inside out.”

Micky has shown work in galleries regionally, including Surface Gallery, Nottingham and  CityArts, Nottingham  and has been involved in a number of arts events including FACADE  group show and artist talk at Surface Gallery and Inter-festival, Nottingham. Most recently having taken part in an international programme: Infinitisimal, Artist Research Residency, Quebec, Canada. With a particular interest in the arts and education Micky has worked in a number of educational institutions to deliver arts and music workshops, also working as student associate at Forest Fields Primary School. Now working as Marketing and Project Officer for UK Young Artists, Micky is involved in assisting the organisation of arts events and associated communications strategies.

 Joe Rowley


Joe Rowley is an artist and curator based in Göteborg, Sweden and Nottingham, UK. Having graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA in Fine Art (2014) he is currently working towards his MFA Fine Art at Valand Academy, Göteborg.

Rowley was a founding member and Director/Curator at HUTT, Nottingham from 2014 to 2016 and now pursues independent curatorial projects alongside an artistic practice.

He has shown both nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions in Nottingham and Glasgow and group shows in Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Brussels and as part of the Sunscreen, a project by Candice Jacobs for EM15 at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Upcoming curation includes We See the World through Eyes of Ancient Mud at Voidoid Archive, Glasgow and No Light Waits II at Collectiv National, Antwerp, Belgium as well as UK Young Artists Festival as a curator for the festival in Derby and Mediterrania 18: Durana in Tirana and Durrës, Albania.

 Elizabeth Flanagan


Elizabeth is a freelance PR and communications consultant. Over the past two years, she has managed first class media campaigns resulting in national and international press coverage, advised and implemented communications and brand strategies, overseen web development projects, developed complex stakeholder management and engagement plans, public affairs outreach and a range of high profile events. 

Previous & current clients include Art Below, Arts Media People, Berloni Gallery,The Foundling Museum, DACS, Gazelli Art House, Goldsmiths University, Musee Galleria, Paris, Petit Palais, Paris, Phaidon Press, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, Tate Britain & Tate Modern and Trolley Books.