Ben Jones, Artistic Director
I have been a resident of Bensham & Saltwell since 2005. I co-founded Dingy Butterflies in 2015, after five years of developing community art projects in Gateshead. I wanted to create opportunities for artists to develop creative projects with local organisations and residents of Bensham & Saltwell. To explore what it means to live, work and play here. I feel Gateshead has a rich history, present and future that is invisible to those who don’t know about it. As an artist and curator, with over twenty years experience working in the arts, and having learned since 2005, I could see the strong creative spirit in Gateshead and wanted to support its development and create new opportunities for artists and the people of Gateshead. I also work at the Shipley Art Gallery as Project Coordinator.
Andrea Carter, Director
I am a resident of Gateshead and the Lead Producer at Newcastle based arts organisation D6: Culture in Transit, where I manage the development and delivery of their artistic programme and audience development strategy. I have studied and lived in the North East since 1998 and worked extensively in the fields of visual arts and heritage, with a long-standing focus on socially engaged practice and a greater representation of marginalised communities and networks.
Sophie Hope, Director
I am a senior lecturer and practice-based researcher at Birkbeck, University of London in the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Department. My work is often developed with others through the format of devised workshops exploring subjects such as art and politics in the year 1984, physical and emotional experiences of immaterial work, stories people tell about socially engaged art commissions and the ethics of employability in the creative industries. My current work includs: Manual Labours with Jenny Richards, Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse with Owen Kelly, 1984 Dinners and Cards on the Table.
Hannah Marsden, Director
I am an arts producer and researcher and a Post-Graduate Researcher at Newcastle University in Media, Culture & Heritage. I like doing yoga, tending to plants, eating cake, and listening to stories. I am proud to be on the board of Dingy Butterflies because of its embedded approach to building place-based knowledge and enhancing local resources with and for the residents of Gateshead. Across the Tyne in Newcastle, I am a founding member of Dwellbeing Shieldfield where I coordinate arts and community-led activity around the politics of land and urban development. My research looks at the construction of values and world-making practices in the field of social art.
Rebecca Prescott, Director
I am senior lecture at Northumbria University Business School. My passion for research focuses on the relationship between place and (specifically creative) practice. Thanks to 10 years’ experience working across sectors as a practitioner, lecturer, researcher and consultant, I have sustained, deep and extensive grounding in questions of creative practice and its relationship to wider issues of identity, inclusion and design. A core element of my research focuses on identifying the fundamental features of artist-led organisational development and the processes that both promote, and constrain, creative practice. Rebecca is also the Principal Investigator for the research project Mapping Gateshead.
Chris O’Toole, Director
I am the Centre Manager/ Heritage Development Officer at Bensham Grove Community Centre and until recently I was the Community Learning Manager for Gateshead Council learningSkills. I am involved with Dingy Butterfies because of my interest in grass roots arts projects and experience in community development. I am particularly concerned to create opportunities and networks for Gateshead residents to improve their access to learning and creative Arts. I am a keen crafter, embroiderer and potter, loving to take advantage of the diverse range of learning opportunities that we have here. I have lived in Gateshead for 45 years and find it an interesting, friendly and supportive place to be.