Welcome to the role!
It’s a total privilege and really exciting! The Point is a building and an organisation I know well from a different life almost when I was an Associate Artist. There is so much going on and so much potential. I am grateful to have the opportunity to come in, lead and support the team.
Why did you want join The Point’s team?
Initially I thought, ‘Oh I wonder who the new Creative Director will be?’ It didn’t immediately occur to me that it could be me. Another colleague said, “I’ve read this role and that is really you, you have something to offer”. I thought about it more and more, and I got more and more excited about the prospect. We still have that bit of imposter syndrome inside us, don’t we, so it was a little bit of realising, oh I am actually in a position where I could bring something to that role. Particularly the direction the organisation is moving in is my background - thinking about how we engage our communities and our artists, programming across multiple buildings and sites, working outdoors - so it feels like a very happy fit.
You were once an Associate Artist at the venue…
I‘m local and I went to college at Barton Peveril. I studied drama at Winchester and as part of that The Point started supporting graduate companies and I came out of that BA programme, formed a company with some of the other people from the programme. Becoming an Associate Artist at The Point at that stage of my career was just such a huge thing. Without that support and that insight, that level of understanding of the industry, I don’t think we would have achieved what we achieved as a company. Also, I don’t think I’d still be working in the arts.
It was just such crucial support so it’s really exciting to be able to give artists that opportunity and now share my knowledge, experience and understanding and open up the brilliant expertise of the team, putting people in touch with those who can support them on whatever journey they are on as artists.
It’s such a challenge trying to make a career in the arts. It’s a fabulous and exciting journey but there are particular challenges and when you have been there and know how that feels, having the artist experience is very useful. Throughout my career I have found it very positive working with other artists. I have that experience of creating work myself.
How does it feel to be taking on this role at this time when theatres have been closed due to COVID?
It is a really uncertain time; planning is tricky and we’re working outside of our normal structures. That’s really difficult but it’s a real opportunity as well. The treadmill has stopped. Sometimes as venues we’re guilty of sticking to what we know and doing things in the same way and this has caused a huge pause and a refresh so it’s a case of thinking how can we change that, how can we do that better and what opportunities does this present. I think you have to take the challenge, wrestle with it and turn it into as many opportunities as you can.
How passionate are you about working with our local community?
As a local person, I know the place so well. I feel connected and very passionate about the communities we work with. It’s so important that we’re serving our communities of artists, the communities that are around us in all their various forms. It’s our job to reach them and to create work that is as accessible as possible to as many people as we can and an important part of that is talking to people about its benefits.
I know myself I have walked into arts venues in the past and felt intimidated and it can be an intimidating process to cross that threshold so that’s why the work of our learning team taking the work out into our communities is so vital. This building, this work and the things we do are for them and I am excited to continue the good work that has already been done, and to do more of it.
The arts have such a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, and the main 5 ways to wellbeing are all ticked by participation in the arts. I feel such a passion for theatre and artforms and it has given me a drive in my own life, a connectedness to myself and to other people. It’s a real privilege to work on something that I feel so passionate about it but also has a positive impact on other people. What a fantastic job to do.