a bit about me
“I’m letting go of pretending I’m in control”
― Kavitha Rao
“You are not unworthy. The systems are unworthy.”
― Tricia Hersey
“Pleasure is the point. Feeling good is not frivolous, it is freedom.”
― adrienne maree brown
Hey! I’m Roseanna and I am a producer, curator, facilitator, artist and researcher based in Bristol.
These quotes represent some of the teachers and themes that are currently guiding me and my work, including in my new company Studio Susegad (pronouned soo-seh-gaad), which launched in 2022.
Studio Susegad is a creative studio focusing on rest, care and connection in creative practice. We organise gatherings, offer facilitation and curate artworks/experiences/words. Our work grows out of many conversations with creatives who are often marginalised in the mainstream, in particular young artists and BIPOC.
The company is evolving, slowly, as we take things step by step, being intentional and going towards what makes us truly feel good. These are acts of resistance. We do not believe extraction and burn out culture are an inevitable part of arts/activism. Through Studio Susegad, we are modelling another way of doing creative production with care.
I am also a writer and poet, exploring intergenerational stories and healing. This is a relatively new endeavour for me… so each time I write, each time I share, I feel challenged and joyful at the same time.
I also love freelancing and collaborating with organisations across the UK. For instance I am a long standing Associate Curator with Turner nominated collective gentle/radical in Cardiff, where we explore decolonial practice and healing justice in a hyper local setting. I also continue to support creatives and communities to tell their stories through film, poetry, journalism, creative technology and events in a variety of ad-hoc roles/jobs/co-explorations. You can read more about my work and how I got here below.
how did I get here?
Care is a huge theme within my work. In 2020 I began my Spaces of Care project, where my research into inclusive digital innovation helped me develop my guiding design principles. That research has deepened and morphed into many parts of my work, now informing the whole of what I do and why I set up my new creative studio so explicitly investigating care-practices.
I've also been delighted to explore this in depth over the last few years with Josephine Gyasi at Knowle West Media Centre where we co-curated Creativity + Care. Our co-created programme explored pleasure activism and care in production processes and in the creative sector, working alongside local and international artists. From this research, we created the A-Z of Care Cards - an accessible toolkit for embedding more care into creative work/our wider lives.
From 2018 - 2022 I worked at Rising Arts Agency - a youth-led arts agency supporting 18-30 year olds in the creative industries. As Exec Producer on BE IT Transforming Leadership programme, I supported young leaders making change through non traditional means to shake up the industry and practise leading their way.
As Critical Agitator and Researcher on Rising’s Resourcing Racial Justice programme, I supported our BIPOC community and staff, and devised and implemented strategies of rest and care through action research working with our community and critical friends and supporters.
A lot of my work at Rising over the years (I used to lead our other flagship project Whose Culture Is It Anyway? 2018-2020) has empowered me to surface the tensions in creative practice and in system change work and find community-led and collective ways of addressing them. During my time at Rising Arts Agency I have developed methodologies around creative leadership, radical care, slow inclusion and resourcing racial justice.
In 2022, I co-led UnEarthed with Lukus Robbins - a National Lottery and Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded project. We explored what our future relationship to land might be when we take time to imagine futures collectively, as part of our communities. After our UK wide tour, we're working on a publication illustrating the main themes and findings.
Since 2020 I've been co-curating with Cardiff collective gentle/radical. During lockdown we experimented with offering quality community film events and artist training programmes online. For instance, in November 2020 we ran Anthologies of Care - an experimental online space exploring self care, restoration and reparation and in February 2021 we ran a training programme for ethical artistic co-creation for National Theatre Wales and National Resources Wales. Last year we were working on our Turner Prize nomination exhibition, and I was co-leading our in person event exploring critical connections (not critical mass) in community arts practice.
This year we are refocusing on our deep community work in Riverside, Cardiff which we see unfolding over the next 30 years. I look after our Film Club - the flagship project which has been running for 15+ years and which serves a big cross section of South Riverside and some of the most vulnerable people in our area.
Space and place are really important in my inclusion and engagement work, as other roles show. In addition, in 2019/20 I was a Research Fellow in Inclusion for Digital Placemaking. My research explored how digital/hybrid spaces and digital placemaking processes could centre care and support radical change makers and has been pivotal to my work
Before that, I was a researcher in Inclusive Production Practices - I studied for a creative producing masters (with a focus on inclusion/creative technology); and I also worked at arts organisations Trinity and Watershed.
People, projects and organisations I've worked with include
Bristol + Bath Creative R&D
Calling The Shots
East Bristol Cinema
In Place of War
Shelby X Studios
South West Creative Technology Network
Trinity Community Arts
We Are Parable