Madeline Shann is a theatre maker, choreographer, writer and performer.
She performs in dance and theatre pieces, and she makes her own live work and film. She also collaborates on work with other artists and companies.

Her practice is versatile, drawing on a multitude of disciplines, such as theatre, musical composition and performance, multi-media and various dance styles including contemporary, breakdance, and European folk.

With an emphasis on the intention behind the aesthetic, she works to tease out idiosyncrasies of human behaviour to ask wider questions about our world, and to make work that is both accessible and emotionally resonant. 

The core of her creative approach is above all to experiment; to surprise and be surprised.

Matthew John Atkinson

Born in 1985 in Gravesend, Kent, Matthew John Atkinson received his B.A. at Loughborough University in 2007. Since graduating, Atkinson's paintings have evolved from ethereal and nostalgic hinterlands to eerily constructed and ambiguous paintings, exploring the moral and finite reality that humans have formed. His paintings challenge the viewer to reflect upon and enter into a dialogue concerning their universal vulnerability and empathy: rather than to find ways to deflect and postpone. 

Atkinson is a painter whose work has an unsettling power allied to a restless use of painterly skill. Where his work has traces of Richter, Polke and Doig he works with a fusion of techniques to produce works by turns poignant, calculating, hopeful and otherworldly.

Since leaving Loughborough University (2007) Atkinson has gained vital experience through Residencies in both France at Triangle Association in Marseille (2008) and London at the Florence Trust (2008-2009), where he was awarded the Fenton Arts trust Bursary. His work has received continued interest with various group shows around Europe including Bright Lights of London Painting, Tilburg (2010), The Importance of Being Original, Padova (2012) and Speak, Clown!, London (2013).

Rosalind Davis

Rosalind Davis is an artist-curator and a graduate of The Royal College of Art (2005) and Chelsea College of Art (2003). As an artist Davis works within painting and installation and has exhibited nationally and internationally in a wide range of galleries and has had a number of solo shows in London: the Bruce Castle Museum (2013); John Jones Project Space; Julian Hartnoll Gallery (2009); The Residence Gallery (2007) and The Stephen Lawrence Centre. Selected group exhibitions have been at the Courtauld Institute; Standpoint Gallery; Transition Gallery; The Roundhouse; Phoenix Brighton; APT Gallery; the Lion and Lamb Gallery; The ING Discerning Eye; the Lynn Painters Stainers Prize and the UK Young Artists Event. Her work is held in a number of private collections and a public collection.

Davis has been appointed as permanent Curator at Collyer Bristow Gallery (begins October 2016) and her exhibition; Complicity. Artifice and Illusion was reviewed by Art Top 10 here ‘Cracking Show. Superb Artists. Brilliantly curated.’  Previous curatorial projects have been at Standpoint Gallery, Geddes Gallery and with ZAP at Bond House Gallery (ASC).

Davis has an expertise in the arts and creative sectors, managing and developing artist led arts organizations and events; Zeitgeist Arts Projects (ZAP 2012-16) and Core Gallery (2009-11,) based in London. Through these she co-directed an innovative and dynamic artist’s educational, membership and exhibition programme, building strategic partnerships and audiences across the country.  As a creative consultant Davis has worked for arts organisations, charities and independants as well as corporations such as BBC4 and E4. 

Davis is a Published writer for a variety of publications and co-author of ‘What they didn’t teach you at art school’ commissioned by Octopus Books which will be internationally distributed at the end of 2016.


Liz West

Liz West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. Working across a variety of mediums, West aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour.

West's investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site. Within physical and architectural space, West uses light as a material that radiates outside of its boundaries and containers. She playfully refracts light through using translucent, transparent or reflective materials, directing the flow of artificial and natural light. Our understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light. By playing and adjusting colour, West brings out the intensity and composition of her spatial arrangements.

What is Written Dance Company. Image: Olga Galona

Viviana Rocha and Jean-Pierre Nyamandunda – What Is Written Dance Company

We are an emerging dance company comprised of individuals from different training and style backgrounds. We are connected by the journey of exploring the liberation of oneself through the medium of dance, pushing our extremities to create new movement vocabulary and innovative dance pieces. 

Our company is comprised of two main choreographers, and they have experience both in teaching and choreography. Through years of working together they have developed a unique choreographic partnership which incorporate many different practices.

At What Is Written Dance Company we aspire and thrive on giving people meaningful experiences during our performances. We believe that even though art can change the world a little, it can change an individual's world entirely.



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.

Nick Slater

Nick Slater is Director of Arts at Loughborough University where he is responsible for the public facing arts programme. A key strand of this is Radar, a commissioning programme that engages with academic research.   He was previously Visual Arts Officer at Arts Council West Midlands and has also worked as Exhibitions Co-ordinator for Quad, Derby and the Royal Institute of British Architects. 




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.


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.



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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Marketing assistant

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 Ireland's industrial beats and distorted drone are her very personal, physical interpretation of the contemporary condition. Aja has been producing an array of genres from grind noise to techno for the past 5 years. Before focusing her new solo project, she was living and DJing in Berlin and playing in the noise orchestra Batalj. Recently commissioned to write the film score for artist Joey Holder’s “Ophiux” exhibited at Wysing Arts Centre, Aja enjoys exploring the boundaries between industrial and noise, she has recently toured Europe and the UK and is planning her long awaited solo release in April 2017.

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.