Meet our new Arts Ambassadors

Our brilliant new Arts Ambassadors Thea Hartman, Molly Ellis and Kate Briggs-Price have produced a slicker-than-your-average video introducing themselves to Southampton, Winchester and the world! Stay tuned for more from this trio over the coming weeks, starting with introductory blogs from each.

Introducing Jen Harris, our new Coordinator

Jen Harris (right) and Liv Fontaine at HA HA Gallery. Image credit: @peanutkaiser.

What is your role at Arts at University of Southampton?

My role is Arts and Culture Coordinator, working with Louise Coysh, Associate Director (Arts and Culture), to help facilitate all the exciting things that Arts at University of Southampton has to offer. I’ll be working with colleagues across the University and beyond to promote our world-renowned arts offer to students and the wider community, including our concert hall Turner Sims Southampton , John Hansard Gallery and our associate organisation Nuffield Southampton Theatres.

Our current team of student Arts Ambassadors, Molly, Kate and Thea will also be working with me getting stuck in to share the best of Southampton and Winchester’s art scenes.

Alongside all this, I’ll be working with the wider Arts UoS team to deliver some big, city-wide projects we’ve got lined up for 2020/2021!

Tell us about your background. What did you do before you came to the University?

I studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, graduating in 2012. Since then I’ve done a whole host of different things, with the first three years after graduating mainly consisting of casual and freelance work for a variety of organisations and people. I worked for a few different artists and volunteered or worked for several Southampton organisations, including our very own John Hansard Gallery.

During that time,  I also ran an artist run-space in Southampton called HA HA Gallery with my good friend and artist Liv Fontaine. Liv and I first met at a John Hansard Gallery event during their show Anti Academy and we bonded over the fact that we had both not long graduated from Chelsea. The Gallery was born shortly after in an empty shop on Old Northam Road in St Mary’s and we quickly developed a reputation for a dynamic programme of shows, exhibiting artists from around the country and the world as well as showcasing Southampton talent. Highlights included a six-week season of shows funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and a commission to run a programme of activity as part of the British Art Show Fringe in 2016.

I’M SO EXCITED exhibition opening at HA HA Gallery. Image credit: @peanutkaiser.

Since 2015, I’ve worked at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire. It’s the cottage at which Austen lived for the last eight years of her life and where she wrote, revised or had published all her novels. I started as Collections Trainee, moving on to a become Marketing and Brand Officer, finally finishing up as Marketing Manager, covering for my colleague’s maternity leave. Being a small team, you ended up doing a bit of everything which was a real joy and a great way to gain experience.

What excites you most about your new role?

I’m most excited by the prospect of (hopefully!) positively influencing the lives and experience of students here at the University. Opening up meaningful access to the arts for as many people as possible and facilitating enriching cultural experiences are my goals.

I’m also particularly eager to get started on our new project, Connecting Culture, funded by Arts Council England. The project seeks to embed the role of children and young people at the heart of cultural activity in Southampton, giving a voice to our cultural leaders of the future. Read all about it here.

I’m interested in getting more involved in the arts at the University – how do I get in touch with you?

If you’ve got any questions about Arts at University of Southampton, please do get in touch! You can reach me on or visit for more information. My normal working days are Monday-Wednesday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Artist Facilitators announced for Creative Consultation

‘Connecting Culture’ Creative Consultation with
Southampton’s Children & Young People

Children and young people from across Southampton are at the heart of ‘Connecting Culture’, a ground-breaking project focused on addressing the question of how the city’s thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich the lives of those aged five to 25.

The project begins this winter with an Artist-led ‘Creative Consultation’ with over 350 participants that will provide an insight into each participant’s individual experience of culture and collectively, it will form a picture for Southampton of how children and young people would like to engage in creative activity across the city.

The ‘Connecting Culture’ Consortium is delighted to announce that Southampton-based artists Nazneen Ahmed, Anna Carr, Faye Phillips and Natalie Watson have been selected to undertake the Creative Consultation.

“We are thrilled to be working with Nazneen, Natalie, Anna and Faye. Each artist brings an extraordinary wealth of experience. Together their individual practices include dance, theatre, photography, stitching, writing and visual art, alongside a deep commitment to enable children and young people to develop their own creative voices and means of expression,” Louise Coysh, Associate Director, Arts and Culture, University of Southampton

The artists will work together with Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde and the Research Team to devise, develop and deliver a series of workshops suitable for a range of ages and levels, taking place in different settings across the city’s 16 wards. This vital work will inform the subsequent stages of the project, which overall will see young people produce a Young People’s Manifesto and Map that will adopted by ‘Child-Friendly Southampton’ and create a sustained programme that reflects their needs. The city-wide Creative Consultation will commence this winter and we will be working with our strategic partners to identify participating groups that reflect the city’s population.

Led by University of Southampton, ‘Connecting Culture’ is a two-year research project, supported by a £75,000 grant from Arts Council England, involving a large consortium of arts organisations and child-focused services, to catalyse a new future in the arts. 

Editors notes:

About the Artist-Facilitators:

Nazneen Ahmed is a writer and creative writing facilitator and lives in Southampton. She writes fiction for children, creative non-fiction and poetry for adults, all of which are often inspired by the theme of migration, which was the topic of her work as an academic researcher and historian at University College London and the University of Oxford. She is currently Writer in Residence with the Southampton Stories project at Southampton City Museums and has held residences at John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Libraries in the past. She runs writing workshops in schools, libraries and community settings. She was selected for the 2016/17 round of Penguin Random House’s Write Now Live mentorship scheme for underrepresented writers for her historical fantasy novel in progress which is aimed at readers aged 11 upwards. She is represented by Louise Lamont at LBA Books.

Anna Carr is a Southampton-based socially engaged, multi-platform Theatre Maker, and Associate Artist at The Point, Eastleigh. She trained at East 15 School of Acting. Her work draws on cross-form devised, verbatim & autobiographical approaches. She regularly collaborates with professional artists and under-represented communities and has 8 year’s experience of facilitating a broad range of community groups.

Faye Phillips is a visual artist and educator with a BA (hons) degree in photography from Southampton Solent University. Since finishing her degree in 2013, Faye has worked within the local community and a range of settings across Hampshire and the South of England, delivering a variety of high quality arts workshops to young people from diverse backgrounds. Faye specialises in conceptual photography, visual art, book making and is a trained Arts Award advisor.

Natalie Watson is a freelance contemporary dance artist. Since graduating from Chichester University in 2014 with a BA and MA in Dance, she has performed nationally and internationally with Michaela Cisarikova Dance Company (MCDC), Nexus Dance Theatre, Hayley Barker and DarkFest. Alongside performing, Natalie teaches and choreographs in wide range of educational and community settings such The Point, Fluid Motion Theatre Company, Newbury Corn Exchange and Zoie Logic Dance Theatre.

The Connecting Culture project strands involve: 

  • over 350 participants, aged 5-25, and Early Years families in a city-wide artist-led Creative Consultation;
  • the recruitment of 10 new ‘Cultural Connectors’, a programme for young people aged 16-25 integrating ‘youth voice’ leadership and organisational development;  
  • the commissioning of a series of new public artworks led by young people;
  • the use of data gathered by the consortium, participants and partners to trial, develop and shape activities for children and young people – now and in the future.

The ‘Connecting Culture’ consortium includes: Artswork, Art Asia, ArtfulScribe, ‘a space’ arts / God’s House Tower, Black History Month – Southampton, City Eye, John Hansard Gallery, Mayflower Theatre, Mayflower 400, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, SeaCity Museum, SOCOMusic, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton Central Library, Solent Showcase Gallery, Southampton Music Hub, SÓN, Turner Sims, Unity 101, Voice FM, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.

Strategic partners include: Southampton City Council (SCC) Children’s Services (Children, Young People and Families), Southampton Youth Forum, Southampton Children in Care Council, Southampton Cultural Education Partnership (SCEP), Southampton Education Forum (HE/FE), Virtual School Head, Primary Heads Conference, Southampton Cooperative Learning Trust, Youth Options, No Limits (Young People, Young Carers), Diverse City (Dorset/Bristol), Creative Youth Network (Bristol); UoS: Public Engagement with Research Unit, Widening Participation Department, Social Impact Lab. 

The Project Research Team comprises: Dr Dan Ashton, Dr Seth Giddings, Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde, Professor Jo Sofaer, Dr Alan Wong and Louise Coysh as Project Manager.

Apply NOW for a UoS Creative Internship

Arts Ambassadors Shanelle, Nicole and Louise with Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England at John Hansard Gallery. Photo Jon Banford

Are you looking to gain valuable experience and build your networks in a creative environment? Is your career ambition to work in the arts, cultural or creative industries?

The University of Southampton’s Careers Service have opened their new season of paid Internships with a brilliant range of opportunities in Southampton’s cultural sector for enrolled UoS students and graduates *.

Read on for details of the creative and cultural internships on offer and hurry, applications close on 27 October 2019.

Continue reading Apply NOW for a UoS Creative Internship

Seeking Artist Facilitators for Connecting Culture

Connecting Culture – consultation session with Children in Care Network, Spring 2019


Arts at University of Southampton is looking for Southampton-based Artist Facilitators to deliver a ‘Creative Consultation’ Workshop Programme involving over 350 participants, aged five to 25 and Early Years families across the city starting in Autumn 2019. This is stage one of ‘Connecting Culture’, an ambitious Southampton-wide project with children and young people at its heart.

A large consortium of cultural organisations and child-focused services, led by the University of Southampton, will work together on this ground-breaking research project to address the question of how the city’s thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich the lives of those aged 5 to 25.    

The Artist Facilitators will work together to devise, develop and deliver a series of consultation workshops suitable for a range of ages and levels, to take place in different settings across the city’s 16 wards. In collaboration with the ‘Connecting Culture’ Research Team, the Artist Facilitators will embed the consultation questions and  Arts Award Discover and Explore framework into the workshops, enabling all participants to achieve their own Arts Award. 

The Creative Consultation will form the basis of Connecting Culture’s research and long-term cultural planning relating to ‘Child-Friendly’ Southampton. 

For full details including how to apply, download the brief (PDF & Word):

Closing date: 5pm Wednesday 16 October 2019