Saturday Table Talks


3rd May 2014: Mission Gallery, Swansea

Artists & Architects as Social Engineers
Owen Griffiths, artist, and Andrew Nixon, architect, as they discuss their work with panel members David Chambers, Catrin James, Catrina Stewart, Nathalie Camus and chairperson Bella Kerr, Curator of CIVIC.

  • David Chambers | Co-founder & Director, Aberrant Architecture

David Chambers is a director and co-founder of aberrant architecture, a multi-disciplinary design studio and think tank. aberrant has established a reputation for playful, provocative and interactive projects which use architecture and design to introduce new and unexpected ways of experiencing the world.

Last year aberrant won a D&AD award for the second year in a row. In 2012 aberrant was selected to exhibit in the British Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2010, aberrant won a prestigious ‘Designer in Residence’ position at the Victoria and Albert Museum – the first architecture practice ever to be given that honour.  In the same year the practice co-founded The Gopher Hole, a gallery in London.

David studied architecture at Bath University, where he was awarded the Barton Willmore Prize for Innovative Design; at T.U. Delft; and at the Royal College of Art. David is currently an associate lecturer in Spatial Practices at Central St Martins.

  • Catrina Stewart | Lecturer, writer and architectural designer

Catrina is a cofounder and partner at Office S&M, and an active member of the collective of artists and architects STORE. Catrina graduated in 2011, receiving a Masters in Architecture with Distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She runs Unit F at Oxford Brookes University, having previously taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Brighton University and at ESA in Paris, teaching along side the esteemed Sir Peter Cook.

Catrina’s work explores the social, cultural and architectural implications of existing and new technologies, and the increasing need for cities to find alternative ways of expanding. Her projects are designed to challenge accepted customs and attitudes towards the way we build and power our cities, driven by the need to express the materiality, colour and richness in the details of the everyday.

  • Nathalie Camus

Former Portfolio Manager for Architecture & the Built Environment at Arts Council of Wales

  • Catrin James | Artist

Catrin James graduated from Cardiff school of art in 2002 as a painter.  Swansea’s post war architectural optimism had always been at the core of her work, depicting Dyfatty flats and the David Evans building as iconic landmarks.

Catrin contributed to the Cultural Olympiad for Wales exhibition Adain Avion in 2012 with the film ‘Guerilla Restoration’. She was filmed cleaning neglected architectural design features found on many of the city center’s 1950s & 1960s buildings.

  • Chair | Bella Kerr | Curator of CIVIC
    Programme Director Foundation Studies (Art and Design) Swansea Metropolitan UWTSD


10th May 2014: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Kingsway, Swansea

Reframing spaces & places through poetry and imaginative extension – why and how?
Join Anna Barratt, artist, and Huw Griffiths, architect,  as they discuss their work with panel members Jonathan Arndell, Giles Smith, Steven Hooper, Craig Wood and chairperson Lyndon Jones.

  • Jonathan Arndell | RIBA Architect

Jonathan trained at the Architectural Association, London and has been a registered architect for over 30 years. He has a wealth of experience in both new-build and refurbishment and has won awards for his work in both fields.

  • Giles Smith | Co-Founder of Assemble

Giles is a founding member of the art, design and architecture collective, Assemble. Giles’ work with Assemble has aimed to collaboratively include the public in the process of making public spaces in order to invest their work with a strong sense of public ownership. With Assemble, Giles, has worked on a diverse range of projects, from events to strategies, in an equally diverse set of roles, from serving drinks to designing structures. Assemble are currently working in Swansea to create an extraordinary artwork for the corner of the LC.

  • Steven Hooper (Powell Dobson) | Architectural Technologist

Steven is a qualified modelmaker and has had a varied worklife, producing hands-on interactives for museums, architectural models, and scale models for films and commercials. He switched to architecture in 2000 and moved to Swansea in 2003. In his current role, Steven produces technical drawings, presentation material and 3D visualizations. 

  • Chair | Lyndon Jones | Artistic Director of Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts

Lyndon teaches at the University of South Wales, is a freelance media producer in the arts and music fields, and has vivid memories of being led down the Kingsway by his Grandma back in the 1960s. 


17th May 2014: Roof of St. David’s car park, Swansea

Sound, vision and social media: How to live in the virtual world – and down here on earth…
Join Jason&Becky and Niall Maxwell as they discuss their work with panel members Mat Barnes, Sarah Pace, Stephen Smith, Tessa Blazey and chairperson Denise Kwan.

  • Mat Barnes Architect & STORE associate

Mat, an architect and artist, runs a small design studio, Critical Architecture Network (CAN) and works as project architect at Paul Archer Design. He is also an active associate at STORE, an elastic association experimenting with educational models, collaborative projects and a wide ranging public programme. His current work looks at using and distorting cultural contexts, embedding projects into their location both physically and culturally.

  • Sarah Pace | Arts Consultant, Co-Director, ADDO

Addo is a not-for-profit arts organisation specialising in the curation of contemporary art in the public realm. Based in Addo’s South Wales Office in Pontypridd, Sarah has worked in the public art sector in Wales for the past 9 years. She has extensive experience of developing public art strategies, curating and managing programmes of temporary and permanent public artworks and leading on the delivery of artist residencies, exhibitions and other events with, for and on behalf of artists, communities, voluntary organisations and private and public sector clients, including Arts Council of Wales, Leadbitter, Cardiff Community Housing Association, Torfaen County Borough Council, Tŷ Hafan and City & County of Swansea Council. Originally trained as a painter at Loughborough University, Sarah later completed an MA in Art Museum & Gallery Studies at Newcastle University.  In parallel to her work for Addo, Sarah is a PhD candidate at Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of South Wales and is managing, on behalf of the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru, ‘Mining Josef Herman’, the first of five outreach projects for Tate’s ‘Transforming Tate Britain: Archives & Access’ programme.

  • Tessa Blazey | Head of Engagement, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay

Tessa heads up the engagement team for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay.  In addition she is developing proposals for education, sports, arts and cultural programmes founded on the lagoon. She brings twenty years’ experience in the events and sports industry, planning and organising major international events including The AEGON Championships and The World Super Series Finals.

  • Denise Kwan | Writer & Curator, Lecturer in Contextual Studies at Swansea Metropolitan, UWTSD

Denise studied Fine Art Sculpture at University of Brighton and developed her studies in Curating Contemporary Art at Royal College of Art. As an artist-writer, she is interested in questions of origin and migration and how these ideas can be expressed through found objects, cultural motifs, images and text.  She is interested in ideas of otherness specifically in the context of British Chinese diaspora and its representation through artists’ practice, television and media. As a writer, Denise has contributed towards magazines such as Art Review, This Is Tomorrow and in 2010, was awarded the Art Criticism Prize from BREESELITTLE.


24th May 2014: Mission Gallery, Swansea

Words or Walls?
Join Catriona Ryan and Lindsay Halton as they discuss their work with panel members Caroline Humphreys, Steph Mastoris, Shellie Holden and chairperson Ciara Healy.

  • Caroline Humphreys | Managing Director Epona Cymru Limited

Caroline Humphreys has worked in the field housing and support for over 25 years, working for Welsh Women’s Aid and holding senior posts in housing associations in South Wales before establishing her consultancy Epona Cymru Ltd in 2000. This year alongside her paid work Caroline has also started an Art and Design Foundation Course at UWTSD in Swansea.

  • Steph Mastoris | Head, National Waterfront Museum

Steph Mastoris is Head of the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, one of seven sites operated by Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales. Before moving to Wales in 2004, Steph had spent over 25 years working for municipal museums in Nottingham and Leicestershire, firstly as a history curator then as a site manager and latterly as Head of Collections. He was born in Cardiff and studied history at London University.

  • Shellie Holden | Artist

Practitioner, researcher and lecturer, Shellie’s practice lies on the peripheries between, drawing, making and textiles.  She uses these disciplines to explore the materiality of making. With recent projects including re-inventing the original native Alaskan Parka using pig gut as a sustainable source.  Featured on ‘Kevin Mcclouds Man Made Home,’ for Optomen Television, October 2013. Participation in ‘Everyone Everything’ an exhibition and series of events held at the Ragged School, Swansea, 2013. ‘Concepts for a domestic space – curating in the home’ a series of ongoing interventions and enquiry, December 2013 – present. ‘Spaces for making’, a Maker in Focus installation for the Mission Gallery Swansea, 20th May – 29th June 2014.

  • Ciara Healy | Writer, curator & book artist

Ciara Healy is currently the Head of Critical and Contextual Studies at The School of Creative Arts, Coleg Sir Gar/UWTSD. In 2011 she was one of three writers to be awarded the WAI & Axis Developing Critical Writing on Contemporary Visual Arts Programme. Since then she has worked with established critics JJ Charlesworth, Cherry Smyth and Chris Sharratt and has written for Art Review, Circa and This is Tomorrow. She has also written many exhibition catalogue essays. She is currently studying for a PhD at the Place Research Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol with Dr. Iain Biggs under the research title: The Thin Perception: A proposal for a new curatorial approach. Her bookworks have been exhibited internationally and they are housed in prestigious national and international collections including TATE Britain Artists’ Book Collection as well as private collections in Ireland, the UK and the USA.