Considered to be one of the greatest living British artists German born Frank Auerbach was sent to safety in Britain in 1939. Both his parents perished in Auschwitz. At school he was known for both acting and painting but received no proper training until he attended St Martin’s School of Art 1948 -1952, and then the Royal College of Art 1952-55. His first solo exhibition was in 1955. He works 364 days a year from his studio in Camden. A new exhibition of his work has opened at Newlands House Gallery in Petworth. ‘Frank Auerbach: Unseen’ will explore the evolution of the contemporary painter’s practice with a collection of over 65 works including nine paintings, etchings, drawings and Drypoint prints. https://newlandshouse.gallery/exhibitions/
Dame Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley DBE FRGS is an English actress, presenter, former model, author, television producer, and activist. Lumley’s breakthrough role was as Purdey in The New Avengers (1976), a role for which over 800 girls auditioned. Purdey propelled Lumley to instant fame. It was her reinvention as a comic actress in Absolutely Fabulous that shot Lumley to wider international acclaim and is regarded as one of the greatest female comic performances ever. In 2013 she received the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards, and in 2017 was honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship. Her most recent work on television is the series Great Cities of the World and her book A Queen for All Seasons has just been published, celebrating HM the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee. She was made a Dame (DBE) in the 2022 New Year’s Honours for services to drama, entertainment and charity.
Duncan Wilson joined Historic England from the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust where he was Chief Executive from 2011 to 2015. From 2002 Duncan was Chief Executive of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, and before that Director of the Somerset House Trust. He became Chief Executive of the newly formed Historic England in May 2015.
Founding editor of Country and Townhouse magazine, now editorial director, Lucy is particularly passionate about sustainability and last summer, she pledged that 25% of her magazine’s content would reflect the ways we should learn to live; from the brands we buy, how we consume things and the way we travel.
George Layton is an English actor, screenwriter and director, and author of three fictional books of short stories which have been part of the National Curriculum in schools. He has had numerous TV roles including Robin’s Nest, Doctor in the House (for which he was also the co-writer) Minder, Casualty and EastEnders, and wrote the successful TV series Don’t Wait up and Executive Stress. His theatre work includes Fagin in Oliver! and Amos Hart in Chicago. He has worked as a director for the Cambridge Theatre Company and the Theatre Royal Bath.
Rupert Wheeler studied at the School of Architecture at Leicester Polytechnic and was elected to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB) in 1982. Mackenzie Wheeler Architects + Designers was established as a partnership in 1986 by Rupert Wheeler and Duncan Mackenzie.
Bronwyn is the great niece of Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of Portmeirion Village. An MA from Cardiff College of Art was followed by a fellowship at Bath Academy of Art. A trip to the Alhambra palace in Spain reinforced her love of archaeology and the visual impact of wall ceramics, so she concentrated her work on colour and drawing on low fired clay. She produces ceramic sculptures which are intended to be decorative rather than practical. Her most recent exhibition was based around Mythical Beasts Past and Present, and a number of these are available to view and buy. She works from a studio in Old Orchard in Bath open to the public by appointment. www. bronwyn-williams-ellis.co.uk +44 (0)1225 460 805.
Creative Director at the Building Centre
Vanessa is one of the leading curators of architecture in the UK and has commissioned and curated a range of exhibitions that celebrate architecture in a wider context. Previously Head of Exhibitions at the Architectural Association, one of the world’s most influential centres of architectural culture and learning, she was co-curator of the exhibition Venice Takeaway for the British Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in 2012. Venice Takeaway sought ‘ideas to change British Architecture’ through travel and research of universal issues that explored the common ground of architecture. Vanessa has contributed to publications, magazines and blogs on the subject of art and architecture and is part of the Selection Committee for the British Council Commission for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.
Paterson Joseph is a highly acclaimed and respected theatre and TV actor and an Ian Charleston award recipient for performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other work there includes his Brutus in Julius Caesar, directed by Greg Doran. Numerous TV roles include Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Noughts and Crosses and Rellik. He was most recently seen starring in the BBC series Vigil and will be seen in the upcoming Noughts and Crosses II. His belief in the importance of libraries led him to be a major campaigner to save the Willesden Green Library when it was threatened with closure, and he is also involved in fundraising for the Kensal Rise Community Library. Founded by American author Mark Twain in 1900 Brent Council proposed closing the library in 2010 but it was saved by a major campaign supported by, among others, Alan Bennett and Zadie Smith. It is now a registered charity. https://kensalriselibrary.org
Perminder Mann is the CEO of Bonnier Books UK, the sixth largest publisher in the UK with sales of over £80m. Mann is recognized as one of the UK’s most powerful leaders and as a publishing innovator – one of the first to publish a social media influencer and for her work introducing inclusive workplace policy.
Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift is a graphic artist and typographer who over four decades has worked across an array of media creating logos, record covers, title sequences and publications in his unique cut up / sampled style. He studied graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic in the 1980s and subsequently worked for Neville Brody, The Face and Arena magazines. For almost two decades he was art director of Straight No Chaser magazine, pioneering hybrid design techniques, leading to its recently published 100th edition. The go-to designer for record sleeve design in the early 90s. Swifty crafted iconic logos for Giles Peterson’s Talkin Loud and James Lavelle’s Mo Wax labels. Sleeves for artists such as DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Arrested Development and many more. In 1997 he founded ‘Typomatic’ – the UK’s first independent Font foundry to showcase his font designs. He has recently published ‘The Graphic Art of Ian Swift’ Vol 1 & 2. www.swifty.co.uk
Living Architecture, founded by Alain de Botton, offers the public the chance to appreciate the best of modern architecture through holiday lets. Mark Robinson has been with Living Architecture since the beginning, working alongside top architects and construction teams to ensure they can bring their guests the best in contemporary architecture. Mark was previously head of building at the Serpentine Gallery and manager of the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Phil Baker spent long and gloomy years writing a thesis on Samuel Beckett, but cheered up after he published it as a book. He has taught literature at several universities, and has reviewed extensively for various papers including the Sunday Times and the TLS. His books include The Devil is a Gentleman: the life and times of Dennis Wheatley, William S. Burroughs , and a groundbreaking study of the obscure cult artist Austin Osman Spare of which Alan Moore has said ‘Phil Baker has established himself as among the very best contemporary biographers… What Baker has accomplished here is little short of marvellous.’ Phil has also written the widely acclaimed Dedalus Book of Absinthe and the first overview of psychogeography, ‘Secret City’, which appeared in London: from Punk to Blair (Reaktion,2003). He lives in central London and has a keen interest in the byways of popular and not-so-popular culture. He has recently published ‘London, City of Cities’, a book about London’s past, present and future.
Nicky and Robert Wilson
The Scottish philanthropist art collectors, Robert and Nicky Wilson, are the owners of Bonnington House, a Jacobean manor, located on the borders of Edinburgh, and site of Jupiter Artland, a contemporary sculpture park and art gallery. Within the 100 acre estate are bespoke and permanent works commissioned from leading international artists, alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions, open to the public from May to September. Nicky Wilson is a talented sculptress, and her husband Robert Wilson owns a chain of homeopathic pharmacies. He believes that art has healing properties and has talked of the ‘magical triangle’ that forms between art, nature and the viewer when art is successfully set into a landscape.
Nick studied Architecture at Oxford Brookes in the late 90s where Prof Murray Fraser introduced him to the field of Cultural Studies and its significance for understanding architecture. He completed a Masters in Architectural History at the Bartlett, and a PhD (in 2011), under the supervision of Prof Jane Rendell and Prof Peg Rawes. His doctoral research was ‘Constructing Everday Life: an architectural history of the South Bank”. He is senior lecturer at the University of Westminster and a Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment.
Sir Alistair Spalding
Alistair Spalding, had his first job in arts management at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley, where he was a programmer from 1988 to 1994. 1994-2000 he was Head of Dance and Performance at the Southbank Centre in London where he developed both the presentation and commissioning of national and international dance and performance companies. He has been responsible for the artistic programme at Sadler’s Wells since February 2000, when he joined as Director of Programming, before becoming Artistic Director & Chief Executive in October 2004. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2012, and knighted in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List, both for services to dance.
Sir Antony Gormley
Sir Antony Gormley OBE RA is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has developed the potential opened up by sculpture since the 1960s through a critical engagement with both his own body and those of others in a way that confronts fundamental questions of where human beings stand in relation to nature and the cosmos. He was knighted in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for services to the arts, having been appointed OBE in 1998.
Sir David Hare
Sir David Hare FRSL is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Best known for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations. Hare became the Associate Director of the National Theatre in 1984, and has since seen many of his plays produced, such as his trilogy of plays about major British institutions Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, and The Absence of War. In the West End he had great success with plays including Plenty which he adapted for a 1985 film starring Meryl Streep. Other noted plays include The Pravda and Vertical Hour and numerous screenplays for films, including The Hours and The Reader. He was knighted in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the theatre.
Ed Vaizey is a British politician, media columnist, political commentator and former barrister who served as Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries from 2010 to 2016. He is the Culture Editor of Country and Townhouse magazine.
James Faulkner is an award winning actor with a career spanning six decades. International recognition has followed his appearances in Game of Thrones, Da Vinci Demons and Paul, Apostle of Christ for which he won Movieguide’s best actor. Films to be be realeased include All those Small Things, a comedy written for him by Andrew Hyatt, the writer/director of Paul.
Kit Martin was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to conservation and “in acknowledgement of the lasting and immeasurably valuable contribution to the field of heritage regeneration”. He has rescued from dereliction a series of major country houses with their landscape setting, and has been called “Britain’s leading country house doctor”. He was the first director of the Prince of Wales’s Phoenix Trust, and has played a key role in innovative solutions to save historic military and industrial buildings at risk, and promote regeneration. Kit was a member of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland for 12 years, a founding Trustee of Save Europe’s Heritage and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Morley von Sternberg
Morley von Sternberg FRIBA began his career as an architect before establishing his name as one of Britain’s most respected architectural photographers. He has been commissioned to photograph an extraordinary array of landmark buildings, including Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and the Maggie Centre in Hammersmith, West London. He has taken portraits of creators and patrons, including Zaha Hadid, Antony Gormley and Lord Foster.
Simon Inglis is an author, editor, architectural historian and lecturer. He specialises in the history, heritage and architecture of sport and recreation. Inglis is best known for his work on football history and stadiums, and as editor of the Played in Britain series for English Heritage. Simon Inglis wrote his first words on football and football grounds at the age of six, following a visit to Villa Park. He studied History and the History of Architecture at University College London.
Sir Paul Smith
Sir Paul Smith is Britain’s foremost designer, renowned for his creative aesthetic, which combines tradition and modernity. Reaffirming the values that Paul set down in 1970, ‘classic with a twist’ remains the guiding principle of the company. Each Paul Smith design is underpinned by a dry British sense of humour: quirky but not frivolous, eccentric but not silly. He was knighted in the 2000 Birthday Honours and appointed Member of the Order of Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to fashion.
Debbie Wiseman OBE is a highly acclaimed composer for film and television, a conductor and a radio and television presenter. She is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, and lectures to schools and colleges about the art of composing music for picture. In 2008 she composed a new Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra called ‘Different Voices’ which was premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She became the most popular living British composer for the first time, with four pieces in the Classic FM Hall of Fame and is Classic FM’s Composer in Residence.
An Historian and researcher of architecture and design and trustee and former Chairman of the 20th Century Society. Following a degree in History of Art from Cambridge, Alan received his doctorate on Architectural Education in Britain 1880-1914. He writes reviews, and articles, and is author of more than twenty books. He has concentrated on 20th century British architecture and architectural conservation.
Alice Strang has over 25 years’ experience as a modern and contemporary art curator and international auction house specialist. She focusses on British – particularly Scottish – art, with a special interest in women artists. She has curated major retrospectives of the work of the Scottish Colourists F. C. B. Cadell, J. D. Fergusson and S. J. Peploe. She is a BBC Expert Woman and a Saltire Society Outstanding Woman of Scotland.
Jay is best known as the presenter of the hugely popular BBC show, The Repair Shop, where his enthusiasm for reinvention shines through. Jay is dyslexic and left school at 15 with no qualifications. He got back on track by studying for a degree in criminology and philosophy, then setting up a charity using restoration to support vulnerable people. His company, Jay & Co is an upcycling brand using creativity and invention to create pieces that sit perfectly in contemporary settings. He is the antithesis of the throwaway culture, believing that the old can become new, the worn can shine again, and the broken can be fixed. www.jayblades.co.uk www.jayand.co
Chris Sands, owner of the Good Company and founder of Totally Locally, a worldwide grassroots campaign for independent high streets. In July 2015 Chris was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Staffordshire for his work in helping communities and towns with the free Totally Locally initiative. www.totallylocally.org
The death of Chris Wilkinson is a truly great loss to architecture both in the UK and internationally. Chris was a friend and mentor to me personally, and a special supporter of the Building Centre. Our thoughts go out to his wife Diana and his family at this time. Colin Tweedy, CEO.
Chris Wilkinson OBE, died in December 2021. He was a British architect, and co-founder with Jim Eyre of Wilkinson Eyre. WilkinsonEyre were the first architects to win the RIBA Stirling prize two years running, for their Magna Science Centre in Rotherham in 2001 and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in 2002, both of which exemplified the firm’s poetic reinterpretation of British high-tech traditions. Their success would lead to a string of international commissions that saw Wilkinson preside over a 200-strong firm, with projects ranging from streamlined skyscrapers in China to futuristic botanical gardens in Singapore. Unusually Chris continued to value hand drawing in an age where digital software prevails in most architectural practices and published three sketchbooks.
Colin Tweedy LVO OBE
Colin Tweedy since 2012 is Chief Executive of the Building Centre and Built Environment Trust.
From 1983 to 2012 Colin was Chief Executive of Arts & Business (formerly Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts). Colin co- founded, with The Prince of Wales, The Prince of Wales Arts & Kids Foundation ( subsequently called Children & The Arts ).
A former trustee of the Serpentine Gallery and governor of the University for the Creative Arts.
MA Oxford University, St Catherine’s College, graduating in 1976. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA ). A Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) and Officer of the British Empire (OBE)
David Ogunmuyiwa is a founding partner of ArchitectureDoingPlace. He is unique in the UK having worked as a housing officer for social landlords including Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Circle 33, before retraining as an architect. He combines practice with teaching architecture at Portsmouth University and is a Mayor’s Design Advocate.
Dr Bob Joyce
Starting his career as a Graduate Engineer at Ricardo Consulting Engineers, he joined Rover as Executive Engineer, and was recruited by Ford Motor Company to become Engineering Director of Land Rover. In 2007 he became Group Engineering Director, overseeing the launch of the Jaguar XF and Land Rover’s Discovery 4, amongst others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
Graduating from St Andrews University with an MA in History of Art, then moving to Historic Environment Scotland as head of Listing and Designated Buildings, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing the management of the list of buildings of special or historic interest and is author of publications on Scottish architecture.
Gregory Doran is an English director known for his Shakespearean work. The Sunday Times called him ‘one of the great Shakespearians of his generation’. Greg began his career with the RSC as an actor in the 1987-88 season, becoming an Assistant Director in 1989. He was made an Associate Director in 1996 and became Chief Associate Director in 2006. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
A London based photographer specialising in architecture and light. His previous employment as an architectural lighting designer provided the industry experience and technical knowledge to ensure an understanding of projects, both from the point of view of the photographer and the designer.
Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber OBE is a British solo cellist, conductor and broadcaster, a former principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the founder of the ‘In Harmony’ music education programme. In September 2020, in recognition of his tenure, Lloyd Webber was appointed Emeritus Professor of Performing Arts by Birmingham City University.
Kitty North is a landscape artist, based in Yorkshire where she has lived for the past 27 years. Six foot-wide canvasses by Kitty North were commissioned by Salts Mill as the finale to its anniversary celebrations, marking three decades since the late Jonathan Silver got the keys to the former mohair spinning mill and began the transformation.
Kwame Kwei-Armah is British actor, playwright, director and broadcaster. As a playwright his credits include Tree (Manchester International Festival, Young Vic), One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Statement of Regret (National Theatre) Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). In 2018 he was made Artistic Director of the Young Vic.
Marcus Binney is a British architectural historian and author. He is best known for his conservation work regarding Britain’s heritage, and the author of numerous books on the subject. He has also written books dealing with the experiences of those involved in secret operations during WWII.
Lady Hare, CBE, is a former French fashion designer, now sculptor born in Nice, France. During her fashion career Farhi would work one day a week and weekends in her sculpture studio. After many years of juggling the two she became a full-time sculptor and is now a supremely talented sculptor specialising in depicting the female body.
Peter Layton is one of the world’s most widely respected glass artists influencing, encouraging and nurturing several of this country’s leading glassmakers and inspiring many more internationally. “Glass is extraordinarily seductive”, explains Peter, “Every piece is an adventure and you never know exactly what you have created until you open the kiln and see how a piece has turned out. I love that moment of surprise.”
Sarah Wigglesworth MBE RDI is a British award-winning architect and was a Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield until 2016. Wigglesworth founded Sarah Wigglesworth Architects in 1994. Her practice has a reputation for sustainable architecture and an interest in using alternative, low energy materials. Sarah Wigglesworth is an outspoken advocate of the role of women in architecture.
Wayne Hemingway MBE is a designer and co-founder of HemingwayDesign which specialises in affordable and social design. He was recently appointed to be part of a team developing masterplans for a number of towns across the UK, including Scarborough, North Shields and Barnet. He spent 6 years as a Design Council Trustee Board, and is a Professor in The Built Environment Department of Northumbria University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Blackburn College, the University of Cumbria and Regents University.