About me

I am an Essex born, London-based artist, facilitator and educator who works with community groups to realise creative projects linked to sense of personal, shared and community histories.

My participatory work takes place in both formal settings such as museums, archives and galleries as well community centres, gardens, parks and festivals. My aim is to create open and safe spaces where those people who are usually overlooked or only included in the statistical or medical history of community have a space to share their voices and creativity.

My work takes art out of the sometimes rarefied confines of the studio and gallery and into the real world, connecting with real people to locate and express their identities, personal histories and experiences. Using media such as drawing, photography, sketchbooks, collage and processes such as walks, communal eating and drawing, co-creation of artworks and group activities I craft sessions that delve deeply into personal stories as well as universal themes.

I have worked in Brixton Prison creating mini plays to share stories about mental health resilience and ‘strength within’, with disabled people in Hackney Museum and Archives seeking new creative ways for people to lead on their creative input into public museum spaces and inspired older adults to engage with art making during the Memories Are Made of This exhibition at a time when their ‘senior citizen’s club’ was becoming an intergenerational space.

My practice explores the ability of everyone to be creative; my drive is to inspire and promote creativity in others, facilitating the co-creation of group work that explores place and memory. I run creative supper clubs hosted from my live/work studio where small groups of people met, converse, share food and have transformational moments through creative making and play.

More recently my work has begun to seek out more physical/performative actions in public/private spaces of parks, pavements and waterways – I have been running Get Lost Artist Walks as part of London Creativity and Wellbeing week and Find Your London Festival. Through these walks participants are invited to creatively play with randomness, open questions and conversations with strangers to open up to new ways of thinking and being.

I belief that you don’t have to be creative to be an artist and that creativity is embedded in everyone’s everyday experiences from how we get up in the morning, how we set the table through to the choices about how and with whom we spend our time.

My work has been shown in shows in Liverpool, Photographer’s Gallery, Bow Arts Open, Marlborough and Salisbury in Wiltshire.

I run Open To Create… we offer bespoke learning programmes, workshops and 1:2:1 coaching for creative, cultural and heritage leaders and managers in small to large art galleries, museums, local authorities, heritage and cultural institutions.

I have worked with Whitechapel, Chisenhale, V&A, Bow Arts, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Transport Museum, Tower Hamlets Libraries and Archives.

I focus on growing and sustaining communication, creativity and confidence within individuals and teams. And make it lots of fun!

Anna B Sexton © John Cassidy 2012

I am a speaker and facilitator for University of East London Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CEWE), London South Bank University and Grade One Ofsted lecturer and tutor for Idea Stores Adult Learning.

I specialise in designing and delivering innovative creative learning, place making and sustainable regeneration focused local, pan London and regional projects across the UK.

I bring over 25 years experience of working in collaboration with community, arts and learning partners in local, regional and international settings for space changing and regeneration projects.

I am passionate about growing people’s potential to inspire swift and sustainable local and global change…because we are all in this together.

I am known for leaving people empowered and transformed. 

I am known for leaving communities more vibrant and alive.

During this time she has gained the broadest set of project & event management, strategic planning, business, administrative, curatorial, fundraising/financial and HR skills whilst working with a wide range of community and arts based informal learning and formal education settings.

  • Raised over £9 million from a range of sources for clients and their partners between 2002-2011.
  • Set up and ran my first business when I was 12 yrs old and ran an Avon franchise at 14 yrs old.
  • Accredited Cultural Leadership PCT coach and alumni of Cultural Leadership Programme 2006-2010. I recently successfully complete Leadership Unleashed; a national leadership incubation programme Sept 2010-March 2011
  • Presently a teacher, facilitator and mentor for Kairos Foundation; an international education and personal development charity. During this time and across all my work experience I have worked with a diverse mix of peoples across ages, ethnicities, genders, faiths, cultures and learning abilities.
  • I have been a NVQ gardening teacher with adults with mental health issues, a peer mentor for Big Brothers & Big Sisters, a Trustee for Voluntary Action Kennet and Chair of We Love Marlborough and was part of the volunteer group that co-founded ‘Greening Brownfield’ a thriving community food growing space in E14.
  • Freelance arts and business development consultant since 2002.
  • Successfully co-founded and led We Love Marlborough www.welovemarlborough.co.uk between 2006 -2010; an industrial and provident cooperative society set up to champion the arts and culture within the areas of Marlborough, Wiltshire, South West England. The cooperative currently has 6 members of the production team and serves over 3,000 people every year through different live events and online activities.
  • Founded, set up and run Open To Arts… www.opentoarts.com since 2007; an organisation created to question how the arts can sustain people and communities.
  • Open To Create… www.opentocreate.com offers a range of creative coaching based courses and programmes targeting adult learner +19 in East London.
  • My first job at 14 yrs old was for YMCA Day Camps Peer to Peer leadership development programme working with children and young people 5-14yr old. I ran my first series of workshops in schools aged 15 years old.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: