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Contemporary Arts Panel

RAMM is committed to exhibiting innovative, challenging work which celebrates the best contemporary practice in the country. To help us do this, in 2012 we established a Contemporary Arts Panel which provides independent advice and guidance. This panel brings together extensive experience and knowledge of the contemporary arts to RAMM. The panel has made a difference to RAMM’s creative programming in the following ways:

  • Suggesting the idea for ‘Whatever the Weather’ exhibition. This has been developed in partnership with the Met Office and National Trust (21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016).
  • Advising on the longlist for Artist Reflections, a series of interventions by established UK artists (2014-16).
  • Engaging with specific projects where they bring expertise, such as RAMM’s digital commission by artist Chris Watson (2015-16).
  • Participating in the question time debate as part of the Gilbert & George | ARTIST ROOMS exhibition (2014).


Dr Joanna Brown

Joanna is a visual artist, activist and mathematician. Her work is varied, weaving together numerous interests that often incorporate a strong collaborative element. She works in photography, artists’ books and animation; and completed an MA in Fine Art and a PhD in Mathematics & Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leeds. Joanna was artist-in-residence at High Cross House in Dartington during 2012. Her project, ‘Twenty Eight Fingers’, was exhibited there, at Dean Clough in Halifax and at the Royal Academy. Joanna is also working with musician Thomas Gloyns in preparation for a project on Dartmoor.

Dr Isobel Johnstone

For the past ten years Isobel has been painting full time, as well researching and writing about contemporary art. For 25 years, she was Curator of the Arts Council Collection, which has over 7,500 works and is amongst the largest national loan collections of modern British art. As Curator, Isobel was involved in purchasing innovative work from UK artists and organising exhibitions for tour with the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre. Previously, Isobel was Curator of the Scottish Arts Council Collection; and before that was Lecturer in art history at Glasgow School of Art. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University (MA in Fine Art) and Glasgow University (PhD).

Nahem Shoa

Nahem is an artist who lives and works in London. He has shown his paintings at the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy and Mall Galleries; and around the regions, including exhibitions in public galleries in Manchester, Plymouth, Coventry, Bury and Hartlepool. He completed a BA in Fine Art at Manchester Polytechnic; and his numerous awards include the first prize from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Lord Leighton Prize and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award. Recently, Nahem has been developing experimental collaged video incorporating his art work.

Former members of the Contemporary Arts Panel

Tom Freshwater

Contemporary Arts Programme Manager for the National Trust. (Member of the panel 2012-13)

Ceri Johnson

Relationship Manager, Visual Arts, for the south west region of Arts Council England. (Member of the panel 2012-13)

Prof Stephen Foster

Director of the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. (Member of the panel 2012-15)

Martin Thomas

Consultant for museums, arts and heritage; RAMM’s Creative Programmer 2012-17 (Member and convenor of the Panel 2012-17)

World Cultures Galleries are closed for redevelopment
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Gallery 20 will be closed from Friday 1 Dec until noon Saturday 2 December

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