In May 2022, I joined the Vindolanda Trust as a Knowledge Transfer (KT) Associate, in partnership with Newcastle University. As a KT Associate, I will be based at Vindolanda for two years, working with staff and an academic supervisory team to develop a cultural programming strategy for the Vindolanda Trust.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) uniquely connect University expertise with UK businesses in the design and delivery of an innovative project. The aim of a KTP is to support an organisation to diversify its offer, while presenting an academic challenge. The project with Vindolanda builds on findings from ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ (MCAHE), a three-year study, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and delivered in collaboration with The National Trust, The Churches Conservation Trust, English Heritage and Arts&Heritage. The MCAHE programme critically explored the role and practice of visual art commissioning within heritage sites in the UK. The Vindolanda KTP focuses on the impact of contemporary art commissioning on a small-to-medium sized independent charity and its audiences.

Prior to my appointment at Vindolanda, I worked in the cultural sector as a Producer and Project Coordinator, namely working with artists and organisations working outside of formal gallery and theatre spaces. In previous roles, I specialised in fundraising, evaluation and project management, developing ideas from fruition to reality, whilst supporting organisations and individuals to develop sustainable working practises.  I am particularly passionate about working on interdisciplinary projects, utilising skills from across sectors and institutions to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and outcomes. From 2015 – 2017 I was an Associate for Arts&Heritage and was part of the delivery team for The Gallery of Wonder (2015), a visual art exhibition which toured to North East agricultural fairs and Meeting Point (2016 – 2017), an action-learning project, developing the skills and expertise of small to medium sized museums in commissioning artists.

Building on this experience by working closely with an internationally recognised organisation situated within a UNESCO world heritage site, in my home county of Northumberland, was too exciting an opportunity to miss! I profess I am not a Roman expert, neither have I studied history at a high level. However, I am undeniably impressed by the stories Vindolanda brings to life. From those who have lived on the land to its custodians today, the connections Vindolanda makes between the past and present, artefact and human, archaeology and discovery make it an infectious, fascinating and dynamic place to work.

The KTP is being hosted in collaboration with Hadrian’s Wall Partnership and lead authority, Northumberland County Council (NCC), representing a regional investment in interdisciplinary working. The partnership aims to diversify Vindolanda’s cultural offer, supporting the Trust’s operational growth and development. In my post, I will:

  • Survey Vindolanda’s visitors, establishing visitor demographics and behaviours, identifying the data collection methodologies that will support Vindolanda to generate evidence based programming and targeted communications.
  • In collaboration with Newcastle University’s Senior Research Associate and Curator, Judith King, I will deliver a programme of bespoke advocacy and training workshops, building the Trust’s arts curation and commissioning capability. In turn, increasing the ambitions and confidence of the organisation to deliver cultural interventions.
  • A pilot programme will test the feasibility of such programming, evaluating its successes and challenges, embedding learning along the way.
  • Finally, the project will culminate in the creation of a cultural programming strategy, which will include an audience development plan, programming rationale, business case and fundraising proposal.


When not at Vindolanda I can be found completing my PhD, which I am conducting through the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art. I am conducting the PhD in collaboration with three residency organisations based in Scotland: Bothy ProjectCove Park and The Work Room, exploring the value of artist residencies in the practice, career and livelihood of contemporary artists.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Vindolanda thus far, particularly getting to know the team, including the Trust’s volunteers and visiting experts. Joining the Trust at the start of the 2022 excavations and witnessing the discoveries and finds of the season has been a true highlight!

There will be multiple opportunities to get involved with the project, through workshops, exchanges and feedback sessions. So, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more!

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