Alessandro is a doctoral researcher and a tutor in History of Art and Design at Edinburgh College of Art. His project, looking at how design and fashion heritage institutions engage with increasingly pluralistic audiences, has involved collaborations with the V&A, MUDE (Lisbon), MoMu (Antwerp), and Fondazione Pitti Discovery (Florence). Alessandro teaches Contemporary Art and Design History at Edinburgh College of Art and has been active in curating exhibitions and educational programmes in Italy, Sweden, and the UK. He graduated in English and Russian at the University of Bari (Italy) and then successfully completed an MA in English and Russian at the University of Bari and a second MA in Fashion History & Theory at the University of Stockholm (Sweden). His research has been published in various specialised journals, and he is currently working on his first book. He is also co-founder and editor of C-41 magazine of photography.
Lean Biddle is Cultural Manager at Culture Warrington, having been appointed to the role in 2019 following a secondment from Warrington Wolves Foundation, where she was working as cultural partnerships manager. A major highlight of Leah’s time at the Halliwell Jones was collaborating with Culture Warrington on the Window on Warrington project which was set up to celebrate the 2013 Rugby World Cup. Prior to joining Culture Warrington full time, Leah was also a project manager at Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) where she curated this year’s annual LEAP Dance Festival, sourcing dance artists and national companies to perform at the 10-day event, which takes place in October in Liverpool.
Denise Courcoux is a writer and arts professional based in Merseyside. She is one of The Double Negative’s Fellows for 2018-19, and has recently been published in a book of new arts writing: ‘Present Tense: A decade since Liverpool European Capital of Culture… What now?’. Denise has worked in museums and galleries for over ten years, specialising in exhibitions. She was a juror for the Koestler Exhibition for the North West in 2014 and 2012.
Roger Jeffery is Producer at Culture Warrington. He leads on the exhibition programme at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and has worked in Museums and Galleries for over ten years. He has been involved in Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival since its inception in 2011 and more recently was a juror for the 2019 Zealous Print Open,
Gary Jones is currently course coordinator of the UAL Art and Design diploma at Preitley Collge where and he has worked as a Fine Art Tutor at for the past 14 years. An experienced curator, Gary specialises in collaborations with the local community and art providers to create exhibition opportunities for young people studying at college.
Soraya Lemsatef is an artist and facilitator, university lecturer, and ardent cinephile. She splits her time between arts practice; as a lecturer for HBUC (UCLan) delivering a practical programme to film production undergraduates with Fine Art conceptual underpinning; and as Creative Lead for ‘Art in Liverpool’ – an engagement project with refugees and asylum seekers culminating in an exhibition by the participants themselves.
As an artist, Soraya is passionate about creative collaboration and engaging the public in critical thinking. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to her work, notable pieces have been exhibited in The Tate Gallery; PR1 Gallery; Banksy’s Dismaland; as well as a performance in Festival No 6. She is delighted to have been invited to judge the Warrington Contemporary Arts Prize in the town which she now calls home.