Surrey Hills Arts
Surrey Hills Arts is a partnership between Surrey Arts (Surrey County Council) and the Surrey Hills AONB. Our mission is to connect people to the Surrey Hills through an imaginative arts programme, meaningful engagement and developing our creative community.
Quality – of arts delivery, meaningful engagement and impactful outcomes.
Innovation – nurturing the experimentation, growth and development of artists.
Environmental – in our approach to our projects and the places where we work.
Inclusive – in collaborating with artists, partners and communities.
Our aims are to:
- Inspire new audiences & raise Surrey’s profile and sense of place through public art
- Deliver inclusive arts projects that connect people to the landscape and strengthen Surrey communities
- Boost local economy by attracting an arts interested audience
- Proactively build and engage with a diverse audience including remotely through digital engagement.
- Promote the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Surrey Hills within a contemporary context
- Encourage outdoor activity for all promoting health & wellbeing
- Enlighten visitors to environmental challenges and encourage positive action
- Work in partnership with internal and external services to create new arts-led opportunities that achieve positive health, education and social outcomes
- Support and develop local artists of all art forms in creating work relating to the Surrey Hills
Surrey Hills Arts works closely with an Advisory Board made up of the Watts Gallery, The National Trust, the University for the Creative Arts, Gatton Park Trust, Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, Parker Harris consultants and Surrey University. Working together we develop the programme for this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Alistair Burtenshaw is Director of Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, including the former home and studios of leading artists G.F. Watts OM RA and Mary Watts, Watts Gallery, and the Grade I listed Watts Chapel. Alistair was previously Director of Charleston, the former home of Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and led the Charleston Trust’s £9.3 million Centenary Project. Alistair was for many years Director of The London Book Fair and is a former Chair of Booktrust and Arvon, both Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations.
As the Director for the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Rob Fairbanks is responsible for leading on all aspects of policy and strategy to conserve and enhance the Surrey Hills as one of the nation’s designated landscapes. He coordinates the activity of the Surrey Hills family of organisations and manages a small team based at the National Trust’s Surrey Hills Estate Office near Box Hill. Previously Rob worked as a Senior Countryside Officer in the Countryside Commission where his responsibilities included National Trails, Land Management Initiatives, Community Forests and initiating Health Walks.
Andrea is Subject Leader for MA Fine Art at UCA Farnham where, since 2004, she has worked across all years and disciplines on the BA and MA Fine Art programmes with research specialisms in sculpture, installation, curation and professional practice.
Andrea’s contribution to the understanding and practice of sculpture spans over twenty years and includes bronze casting, drawing, site specific art and curation. ‘Seeing Through the Ground’ is her recent residency, solo show and commission at Grizedale Forest.
Penny Harris is a founder partner of Parker Harris, one of the leading visual arts consultancies in the UK. Penny has been responsible for creating and managing contemporary art projects for over 30 years, in all kinds of disciplines. In 2019 she was responsible for the delivery and promotion of two of Forestry England’s Centenary Art Projects. With an inherent love of the Surrey Hills, Penny is passionate about encouraging audiences into the landscape through the medium of sculpture in the landscape. She lives and works in Surrey.
Chris is the Vice President of the Surrey Hills Society, a charity founded to support the work of the Surrey Hills AONB. She is Chairman of Visit Surrey – Surrey’s official Tourist Board and an Ambassador for the North Downs Way National Trail, which runs across the Surrey Hills. Chris leads monthly free walks around the Surrey Hills and is a guest journalist with Surrey Life magazine. In 2018 she wrote the Surrey edition of Walks for All Ages featuring the best walks in Surrey for families.
Louise Miller leads the charity that manages Gatton Park, a 250 acre ‘Capability’ Brown landscape with Edwardian Gardens in Reigate. It is home to The Royal Alexandra and Albert School, a state boarding school.
Louise spends her time using the natural habitats and gardens as a ‘Landscape for Learning’ running school visits, Forest School sessions and family events. Over the last 20 years, she has enjoyed developing projects with artists and the community at Gatton – finding new ways to interpret its history and beauty.
As the Service Manager for Surrey County Council Arts Service, Sarah is responsible for leading the Arts provision across Surrey including the strategy for the Surrey Music Hub, Cultural Education Partnership (Culture Box Surrey) and is part of the cultural services leadership team for Surrey County Council.
Having grown up in Devon, Sarah loves nature and is passionate about the arts and its ability to enhance the natural landscape.
Project manager and artist, Ali Clarke has worked in Surrey since 2000 initiating and delivering projects specific to the landscape. Often responding to the history or geology of a site, Ali works closely with artists and landowners in developing projects, residencies and events across the art forms. Ali has also been Chair for DAISY – Disability Arts in Surrey and a trustee for Creative Response.
Holly is Programming and Partnerships Manager for the National Trust – Surrey Hills. Previous to this, she lived in Argentina for eight years where she managed a polo resort, horses being a big passion for her. Her role within the Surrey Hills is focused on public engagement including delivering dynamic experiences and building great partnerships. Holly loves the outdoors and believes in bringing the healing power of nature to people.
Manager and Co-curator of The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Ockley Surrey, Vikki Leedham has a passion for sculpture, materials, and the magical synergy created through the placement of art within nature. Living in Farnham – England’s Craft Town – Vikki consults on public art, and sits on judging panels for arts awards supporting emerging talent, as well as speaking at higher education venues for both the arts and garden design.
Caroline is Professor of Technology in Society in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey. Her expertise lies in: the visual and multi-sensuality within society, social and cultural sustainability and how these are brought together through technology for social good. Caroline’s recent research focuses on: enriching visitor experiences of arts and heritage through augmented reality and immersive experiences providing stimulating environments for healthy ageing. Caroline is lead editor for Tourist Studies, an advisor for the Royal Geographical Society, and a Director for Visit Surrey.
New trustee positions available!
The Board are currently considering new trustees to compliment the existing members in advising on the Surrey Hills Arts programme. We are particularly interested in hearing from anyone from a diverse background.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Great Landscape Value.
Surrey Hills is a 422 km² Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers one quarter of the county of Surrey, England. The AONB was designated in 1958 and adjoins the Kent Downs AONB to the east and the South Downs National Park in the south west.