Spectra has been the main focus of my work since it began as partnership project between myself, Queen Alexandra College and MAC Birmingham in 2013. Consultation and inclusivity are driving forces in my work, as is my firm belief that engagement with the arts affects social change on both a personal and a grand scale. In the past, I have worked as an artist, project manager and/or evaluator with DanceXchange, Friction Arts, Open Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, the NHS, and Town Hall & Symphony Hall. I’ve had a varied career that has included work on a vineyard, as a stage manager, a chef, a secondary school drama teacher, at a charity that supports families with disabled children, as a journalist and, for five years, as Programme Manager for Access & Inclusion at DanceXchange. I trained at New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing. My work outside of Spectra draws on so much of what has grown within Spectra over the last six years: it is is socially engaged, multi-sensory and all about collaboration. I am incredibly pleased to have been awarded a Feeney Fellowship for 2020.
An interesting fact about me: I’m originally from New York but have lived in Birmingham for 18 years.
Harmeet Chagger-Khan is an artist, film maker and creative producer producing site-specific projects with a diverse range of individuals to harness their polymathic qualities and create subtle behaviour change within communities, organisations and cities. As a BOM (Birmingham Open Media) Fellow and Resident at Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol, she is currently exploring how technology, locative storytelling, immersive media, live art and theatre can create antidotes to life. As an Immersion Fellow for the South West Creative Technology Network her research and practice is currently centered around cultivating resilience and belonging through immersive technologies in real world environments.
I’ve been working for Spectra since September 2019 and my first show was Eat the Stars. From studying an Art and Design degree, I have a well-rounded artistic practice as I have been given hands-on experience in many media. My particular interests were casting, laser cutting, and crystallisation until I was exposed to a multi-sensory dining experience event with Kaye Winwood. This stoked my interest in the arts event management side of the industry. This I then specialised in; with my dissertation being my own multi-sensory dining experience called ‘The Four Realms’ which was graded a first. This then encouraged me to pursue a Masters degree in Arts Project Management at Bath Spa University.
An interesting fact about me: in my free time I make fantasy headpieces which are then used in photoshoots.
I have had a connection with Spectra now for four years. I was a part of Seek / Find, Hanging in the Balance and I am Me. We are Kindred. An extremely long time ago I ran a Youth Theatre, directing young people and children in devising and performing in shows. I also wrote a play for them. Mostly my background is in Communication and Support roles. I am interested in training to work in integrated British Sign Language roles in accessible theatre, but at the moment I’m too busy with other things.
An interesting fact about me: I create and conduct Celebrations of Life (funerals), Wedding and Naming Ceremonies for people. I have two Burmese Cats called Myrtle and Seymour. I love chocolate a little too much.
Jane is a participatory artist of British and Guyanese heritage. Jane qualified with a degree in Visual Arts from Lancaster University and has many years experience of researching, facilitating and evaluating arts projects, workshops and events.
Following a career as an arts administrator, Jane built on her community arts experience by qualifying in Social Work from Glasgow University. She went onto to manage a number of community based mental health services both in Glasgow, and more recently in Birmingham. She has a commitment to creativity and engagement and has been recognised nationally for her work in creative approaches to organsiational change. She delivers learning and engagement opportunities with diverse groups of adults, young people and older adults.
Jane has a Masters Degree from University of Birmingham. Her research interest was the creative relationship between Survivor Artists and social work students. In December 2016, Jane co-authored an article published in The International Journal of Social Work. www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Mcseh8zMvrJib2R47Uhw/full
I have been working with Spectra since 2016 (Seek/Find 2016; Hanging in the Balance 2017; I am Me. We are Kindred. 2018, Eat the Stars 2019)
I have over 20 years experience as an Arts Professional specialising in visual art, food, moving image and performance. I produce a range of extraordinary experiences to sate the most curious of appetites. In 2016 I applied the term ‘Expanded Dining’ to reflect my ‘beyond the plate’ approach to dining experiences, and in 2018 I was awarded a Feeney Fellowship (2018-19) during which have been harnessing new working methods and processes to reimagine the creative potential of food and eating; including casting, moulding, 3D printing and molecular gastronomy.
I am a studio holder at Grand Union Studios in Birmingham’s Digbeth area, and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Birmingham. Since 2016 I have peer reviewed the online journal FEAST. I have had the pleasure of working with some incredible organisations including ArtLoop (Sopot, Poland), Barbican Art Gallery (London), Birmingham City University, Birmingham Hippodrome, Blanch & Shock Food Design (London), Capsule/Supersonic (Birmingham), Flatpack Film Festival (Birmingham), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), La Grenouillere (Montreuil-sur-Mer, France) Mac (Birmingham), Steinbeisser (Netherlands), University of Birmingham, Vivid Projects (Birmingham).
An interesting fact about me: When I was studying for my degree in Fine Art I was commissioned to photograph Richard Attenborough. I really wish I had kept the negatives (yes it was film)!
Robin Jax is a musician and performer based in Birmingham, UK, and has performed in multi-disciplinary works by Room Art and Spectra Arts Company. Robin’s connection with the music industry includes experience on many sides of the stage – first as a venue assistant for The Tin Angel in Coventry, then as a label assistant at Tin Angel Records, and then as a performer. He has previously released music with his solo project RobinPlaysChords and “transatlantic Autistic duo” The Companions through his record label Tiergarten Records, a label that aims to cultivate positive, inclusive practices related to neurodiversity in the music industry. Robin is affiliated to Attitude is Everything’s Next Stage programme, and sung alongside Wolfgang Buttress’ BE Music project.
Sally Taylor has always been a community activist. She started her working life at the Arts Council and then the Big Lottery Fund, working at different times on partnership development, funding programme management, funding policy and strategy, and impact measurement commissioning. In recent years she’s set up a national charity’s first ever Impact Management team and strategy and focused her efforts on social change in her local community. She can often be found trying to cajole her young children into attending community events or trudging up the Client Hills! She runs her consultancy Boost Impact, supporting organisations to increase the impact of their work, and she’s set up Bearwood Community Hub CIC to enable local change in her neighbourhood.