Guest Speakers


George Shaw was born in Coventry in 1966. He studied at Sheffield before later doing an MA at the Royal College of Art in London. He now lives and works in Ilfracombe, North Devon. He is best known for paintings made over the past 15 years which chart the urban landscape of his childhood home on the Tile Hill Estate in Coventry. Painted in Humbrol enamels, more usually associated with boyhood model-making, and based on photographs, Shaw’s works revisit landmarks remembered from his youth. Meticulously painted houses, pubs, underpasses and parks become autobiographical notes, frozen in time. Conflating memory and present day reality, Shaw’s works take on an uncanny quality, alluding to a murkier side of contemporary society and collective subconscious. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2011.


(b. 1987 Liverpool, lives and works in Sheffield) James Clarkson studied at Sheffield Hallam University and is a member of S1 Artspace, Sheffield. Recent exhibitions include Easy Living, Less is More Projects, Paris; Colasel, Van Horbourg, Basel, Switzerland; A Painted Sun as a Yellow Spot (solo), Rod Barton Gallery, London;Comedian Corinthian Caricature (solo), Public House Projects, London; A Chance Encounter Between an Umbrella and a Sewing Machine (solo), Rhubaba, Edinburgh; and a collaboration with Haroon Mirza for his solo exhibition /|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|/|, Spike Island, Bristol. (All 2012)

Clarkson works primarily with ideas of assemblage, his works often being entirely constructed from found objects and material. The materials he uses are selected for their resemblance and relationship to specific moments of art history. This investigation becomes a means of identifying the slippages in time and meaning that occur when an object or idea assumes its own formal language outside of its original context. Clarkson’s work negotiates the definitions of painting and sculpture, refusing to settle upon clear categories. Each work occupies a precarious position, ever liable to shift and change.


Emilie Taylor’s practice has evolved to combine studio ceramics and socially engaged art practice using clay. Emilie works as an artist from her studio at Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield. Her work forms part of both public and private collections and is regularly exhibited throughout the UK. For her studio ceramics, layers of slip and glaze are chosen to celebrate different aspects of the form and function of the places we live, particularly post war housing estates, and their relationship with the British public. Emilie is particularly interested in the utopian ideals that informed the design of the estates and to what extent these are congruent with residents current lived realities. Beyond the studio Emilie is passionate about representing people’s ideas and experiences of the places they inhabit authentically. Working with the voice that already exists within specific communities it is hoped that creativity fosters empowerment and cohesion resulting in work that develops communication skills, challenges participants and the wider community and is work people are proud to have made – a truly creative experience. Emilie is currently qualifying as an Art Psychotherapist and has 10 years specialist experience working with people who use drugs and alcohol and homeless people. Emilie has spoken about her work at national recovery conferences and the International Conference of Therapeutic Communities in 2011.


Liverpool-based artist Emily Speed works with performance, installation, drawing and sculpture to explore the idea of shelter and the inhabitant with further references to architecture and the body. Recently nominated by Sally Tallant and shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize 2013, Speed has exhibited nationally and internationally and completed residencies in Arbroath, Linz and New York. Speed’s artists’ books are included in collections at UK and international Universities, the United States’ Library of Congress and the Tate Artists’ Books Collection.


Kate Squires is a practicing artist and has worked with contemporary art and education for over ten years. She is currently living in Berlin and working as an arts consultant. She recently organised an international conference on art education in Berlin for UK organisation, Engage – the National Association for Gallery Education. Until 2008 she worked as Head of Education and Public Programmes at Camden Arts Centre , London where she led a team responsible for the talks and events, international artists residencies; youth, community and schools projects and adult and children’s courses. Before this she was Curator of Community Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery, where she worked closely with the diverse local community to develop a strategic programme of creative collaborations. As Education Coordinator at the Chisenhale Gallery, she managed a training programme for artists to work with schools for young people and children with disabilities and special education needs. She has developed the public programmes for Deptford X and Stoke Newington Festivals, worked as an artist and educator with schools, adult education, youth and community centres in the UK. She has lectured in colleges and universities and at conferences both in the UK and internationally.


Christian Zimmermann is a qualified solicitor in the UK and Germany with a Master in Intellectual Property Law. In his current position at DACS as Head of Legal he advises predominantly on copyright issues and provides legal and strategic advice to all departments at DACS. Christian also inputs into DACS submissions to Government consultation papers, manages DACS’ Enforcement & Compliance Service for members and informs the creation of new business streams.


Kerry Harker is a Founder and Director of PSL. She has lived in Leeds since completing a BA and MA at the University. As an artist she has shown in New Contemporaries in 2004 (Camden Arts Centre, London), Collect in 2005 (V&A Museum, London) and Gathered World in 2010 (Aberystwyth Arts Centre). From 2004-6 she was a Director of the curatorial project Vitrine which she co-founded with Pippa Hale, staging temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, much of it commissioned, around Leeds’ city centre. In 2006 she co-founded PSL with Pippa Hale and Diane Howse and has been a Director ever since. Kerry also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Art House in Wakefield, an organisation founded in 1994 to create equality of opportunities for disabled and non-disabled artists alike.

In 2013, PSL will open a new centre for contemporary art in Leeds, The Tetley, in the headquarters building of the former Tetley Brewery site, which is currently undergoing conversion.


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