Meet the Artlift Team
Meet the Artlift team of artists, administrative staff, and trustees
My background is in youth work, BBC Radio feature-making, community arts and further education.
I’m passionate about changing lives through creativity. I focus on each participant’s interests and life experiences. Everyone is encouraged to express themselves, whether that’s through poetry, the spoken word, found objects, or collage.
Each group is informal, social, supportive and fun so that everyone can grow in confidence, make new friends, nurture useful skills, and improve their wellbeing. Within this new-found creative space, the group becomes a real lifeline. Many continue to run for years to come. It’s wonderful to see everyone continue to support and inspire eachother because they know the difference that creativity has made in their lives.
I am an artist, theatre director, film soundtrack composer, musician, recording engineer, curator and writer. I joined Artlift in 2019 and take great pleasure in enabling our participants to re-engage with the world around them through photography and film.
I studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art, and went on to pursue a music career. I record and produce music for film and theatre and have created sound installations commissioned by Arts Council of Wales and the National Trust. My PhD resulted in the Stroud-based performance company Hand in Glove which I continue to direct.
I’m passionate about sharing my skills in schools and universities, including as an Associate Lecturer at The University of the Arts London. I’m excited about the way creativity can change lives, so it was a very natural step to start working with Artlift.
Your Next Move Artist
I started out with spoken word and rap lyricism in my early teens and went on to be in many bands. I have written everything from Christmas hip hop plays to stark spoken word to raise awareness of knife crime. My favourite commission was a piece for NHS frontline staff, projected onto the side of Gloucester Royal Hospital to say thank you for all their help through the pandemic.
I’m still very much involved in the hip hop scene, with my last release pressed to vinyl and performing at festivals and hip hop nights across the UK.
I enjoy running workshops in schools and universities. Sketch ‘n Rhyme will be my first course for Artlift, in collaboration with Your Next Move. I’m looking forward to inspiring everyone to write their own hip hop lyrics, and lifting spirits at this difficult time when many are struggling with anxiety and depression.
I am a Bristol-based artist, theatre maker and arts facilitator with many years’ experience working with people to create original work in response to a commission, environment or community.
I trained in Spatial Design and Theatre Design and love using these skills to create theatrical environments and events that surprise, delight and move people, bringing a touch of magic to our everyday lives.
My work in arts for wellbeing is central to my creativity. Through a variety of simple art techniques and accessible materials, I hope to enable participants to explore and develop their own creativity in new and unexpected ways; to nurture their self-belief; and to open up the limitless possibilities of art.
I am an artist and writer based in Bristol. I’ve been with Artlift right from the start in 2007. With over 35 years as an artist, tutor and lecturer, I have run painting and drawing courses in galleries, museums, community venues and my studio. Over this time, I have witnessed the very real difference that art can make to our wellbeing.
I focus on painting and drawing and enjoy helping each person find their own unique voice, grow in confidence and develop new skills. With so many avenues to explore, there’s no right or wrong way.
Artlift is a safe space, away from all the pressures of life. I get huge satisfaction when I see people so deeply absorbed that they can relax and unwind, both physically and emotionally.
The more you look, the more you see. To paint and draw is to learn to see the world in a new way – for some people this can be a life-changing experience.
I started writing and performing poetry in 1997, and have been working as a fulltime freelance poet, writer and facilitator since 2001. I’ve been with Artlift since it started, and my sessions are among my most rewarding activities.
I lead participants through games and writing exercises, and try to make every session enjoyable – there’s lots of laughter.
I have two improtant aims: I want participants to have fun and to feel proud of what they have achieved. Everyone starts in a different place, and one thing I love about our groups is the support the participants give to each other; everyone realises that it’s the process that is helping them.
It’s a real joy to see people blossom through creativity – not only in their writing, but in their confidence and wellbeing.
Your Next Move Artist
I’m a professional illustrator, graffiti artist and muralist from Cheltenham. I run art workshops for people of all ages and enjoy inspiring others to create their own graffiti. I’m looking forward to running my first Artlift course, Sketch ‘n Rhyme, with JPDL and in collaboration with Your Next Move, giving a hip hop boost to mental health in Gloucestershire. Everyone will get the chance to bring their own hip hop lyrics to life through graffiti.
I work hard to get a supportive space where everyone can tap into their creativity and learn new techniques, from silk painting to rag rugging, needle felting, printing, drawing and sculpture.
I encourage participants to reflect and enjoy the creative process through play. Simple creative tasks build confidence and skills as we share and explore ideas together.
People are often amazed by their achievements. After gently holding people, it is so exciting to hear that they are drawing, painting, or making every day. Some are even selling work, heading to art college, or running classes. I am really inspired by the change that creativity can bring.
I’m a printmaker and I have been running sessions for Artlift for over 10 years. I take huge pleasure in sharing my printmaking experience with others – it’s a very exciting, playful and experimental art form.
These Artlift sessions are just as much a highlight for me as they are for our participants. It’s such a joy to share my knowledge and see everyone’s imaginations get going. That weekly ‘time out’ to rest and play forms an important part of recovery, healing and wellbeing.
I am inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Studying aerial photography of the land and images of microscopic cell structures leads me to investigate form, colour, texture and pattern. My favourite printmaking processes are monoprint and collagraph, but I also love drawing and painting, especially working with mixed media.
Having suffered with an eating disorder for many years, I know from personal experience that art can be the key to wellbeing and recovery.
Our Administrative Staff
Amabel Mortimer, Programme Coordinator
Cath Wilkins, Executive Director
Helen Crocker, Project Manager
Jennifer Smith, Programme Assistant
Tessa Webb, Marketing Associate
Dr Gillian Rice (Chair)
Sue Burling (Company Secretary)
Dr Katja Baczko