Announcing: a-n Curator Bursaries cohort

Meet the curators exploring Northern Ireland

Becca Clark, Benedetta d’Ettorre, Lily Hall, James Harper, Louise Hobson, Christy Eóin O’Beirne, Natalia Palombo and Zoe Watson

Welcome to our first cohort of curators who will take part in a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024. Designed to encourage UK-wide exchange and collaboration, a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024 will connect curators with artists and colleagues in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry, opening opportunities for talent exchange. 


Congratulations to Becca Clark, Benedetta d’Ettorre, Lily Hall, James Harper, Louise Hobson, Christy Eóin O’Beirne, Natalia Palombo and Zoe Watson.


Collectively, the cohort, which includes curators working across different disciplines, from eight towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales, share a curiosity to explore the local artist-led scene in Northern Ireland. Curators highlighted collaboration, community and a sense of kinship as key motivations for visiting, with some drawing parallels between Belfast, Derry~Londonderry and their respective cities. 


Wing-Sie Chan, Head of Programmes at a-n, said: 

“We’re delighted to support eight ambitious curators to explore Northern Ireland’s visual arts ecology with us. Working together with PS2, a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland 2024 is an important programme, which connects curators and artists across the UK, providing time and space for them to learn from each other, and allow new connections and ideas to flourish. Northern Ireland’s vibrant art spaces, initiatives and community must be experienced first-hand to really understand the local challenges and context in which artists create work. We believe in empowering arts organisers to develop their critical awareness, forge lasting relationships and explore opportunities for future collaboration”.


The itinerary, which includes tours of artist-run spaces and galleries as well opportunities for sight-seeing and socialising, encourages conversation, reflection, discussion and debate, helping curators to develop their research, networks and knowledge of visual arts in Northern Ireland.


Belfast-based artist and member of the Array Collective, Thomas Wells, who was on the selection panel for the bursaries said: 

“I’m delighted to have been invited to select an incredible cohort of curators to visit Belfast and Derry~Londonderry. This opportunity encourages curators to nurture new relationships and I hope the experience will be mutually beneficial to artists in Northern Ireland as well as the visiting curators. I hope, for the curators, that it isn’t a one-off visit and I look forward to seeing shared learning and opportunities being passed across the water.”

We are committed to enhancing the aspirations, visibility and support of artists in Northern Ireland. a-n Curator Bursaries: Exploring Northern Ireland, extends our partnership with PS2, following the delivery of Assembly Belfast in 2023. Jane Morrow, Co-Director of PS2 , is looking forward to welcoming the curators: 

“We can’t wait to welcome eight dynamic curators to Belfast and Derry~Londonderry in April 2024. We’re putting together a packed itinerary of places and people to visit, and have enjoyed doing some Cilla-style matchmaking between visiting curators and artists around shared interests and approaches. At PS2, we’re excited to once again be partnering with a-n - as a legacy of the October 2023 Assembly Belfast event - to create and enhance opportunities for artists in Northern Ireland. We so value a-n's continued support and investment in individual artists, the sector and the region.”


Curators will visit Northern Ireland on Monday 29 April to Friday 3 May 2024. Follow their journey @anartistsinfo on Instagram. 



Meet the curators:


Becca Clark 

Becca is a curator and producer based in Dundee, Scotland, working on projects that create joy and make space for connection, conversation and questioning beyond momentary experience. With a focus on regional art festivals, Becca is Co-Director of Art Night Dundee. Her interests are collectivism, the commons, intersectional feminist-practicing and the possibles of sonic attunement. @little_oddities


Benedetta d’Ettorre 

Benedetta is a curator, researcher, evaluator and producer. She works as a Programme Producer with East Street Arts, Leeds and Vessel Art Project, Puglia, Italy and co-curated Hyde Park Art Club, Leeds. In 2023, Benedetta was awarded her PhD on the sustainability of artist-run spaces and she curated the Hive, the first UK international conference on artist-led initiatives. @bennywed


Lily Hall 

Lily is a curator based between London and Birmingham. She has an interdependent curatorial practice with a focus on collaborative, process-oriented modes of production. She has previously worked in curatorial and editorial roles at The Showroom, Calvert 22 Foundation, Raven Row and Chisenhale Gallery and on collaborative research within and beyond these institutional frameworks.



James Harper 

James is a Welsh artist, curator, producer and writer, based in Liverpool. James is Programme Manager for Liverpool Biennial and he is the Founding Director of Periclo CIC, a studio group and project space in Wrexham. As an independent practitioner, James has worked with organisations such as Bluecoat, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Site Gallery and Tate. He has a Masters in Curating from Chelsea College of Arts and previously worked as Artistic Director at The Royal Standard, Liverpool and a Curator at Ty Pawb, Wrexham. @jameshedleyjohn

Louise Hobson

Louise is a curator based in Barry, Wales. She works as a Co-Director of Peak Cymru, a rural arts organisation working with young people, artists and intergenerational communities, and is a curator of SWAY, a project devoted to exploring the potential of intertidal thinking. Recent exhibitions include Call the Waves, co-curated with QANAT, at Chapter Gallery (2022) and recent roles include Associate Curator at Art Night (2020/21). @louisedhobson 



Christy Eóin O’Beirne 

Christy is a curator whose work investigates fragmented identities, shibboleth, memory, and decay. He is Assistant Curator at Metroland Cultures, London, previously holding positions at Deptford X and Goldsmiths CCA. In 2023 Christy was selected for the Young Curators Residency Programme at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. He has an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths. @christyobeirne


Natalia Palombo 

Natalia is a curator, director and consultant. Her focus is producing public programmes with strong community values. She is a Director of Many Studios, a creative organisation in Glasgow, where she developed an international project space, The Gallow Gate, from 2015-2021. Natalia directed Deveron Projects, Huntly, Scotland between 2021-2024. @nataliamaria_p


Zoe Watson

Zoe is the Contemporary Curator at The Lowry, Manchester running a dedicated contemporary art programme of free temporary exhibitions, events and performances alongside the world's largest collection of work by L.S Lowry. Zoe’s curatorial interests are supporting artists to do ambitious, experimental work in a public-facing setting. @zoerwatson