About Metal

Metal was founded by Jude Kelly OBE in 2002 and was created as an artistic laboratory to champion the need for continual investment in artistic investigation and the development of innovative ideas that could shift the thinking in the UK cultural sector.

We provide innovative, multi-disciplinary residency space for artists from the UK and overseas in Liverpool and Southend on Sea.  

Alongside providing space for artists and thinkers to develop their ideas and further the philosophy of their work, we are interested in how this artistic process, and the practice of artists can input into, and potentially influence political and social issues of the day.

Through our artistic programme we draw out evidence and ideas for a better understanding of the artist’s role in civic life, and ensure that these are shared with a wide and diverse set of partners. 

These ideas are showcased and disseminated on a regular basis through residencies, exhibitions, events, performance, discussion and publications.

Jude Kelly

Jude Kelly OBE is founder and now chair of Metal, having spent the first three years of Metal's development as artistic director.  She is an award-winning theatre director who for the last five years has been one of the top ten most powerful people in British Theatre.  She is currently artistic director at the Southbank Centre.

Colette Bailey

Colette Bailey is Metal's Managing Director - since the company's inception in 2002.  She brings extensive experience of working in large scale public arenas via public art consultancy, exhibitions, participatory design projects and education projects.  Her professional experience is mainly in the Visual Arts.  She was managing director of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (RBS) from 1998 - 2002.  She is a freelance writer and commentator on the arts and has published articles in a number of journals and publications.  Colette is based at Metal in Southend on Sea.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards is the Senior Project Manager and heads up the Peterborough team for Metal. He joined the organisation in May 2013, after eight years at Arts Council England based in Cambridge. Through his various senior management roles for ACE, he has developed a very strong understanding of the region, its strengths and challenges. He has also worked within local government, arts venues of varying scales, as a Higher Education tutor and a practising visual artist. He also has an MA in European Cultural Planning.

Sean McLoughlin

Sean McLoughlin is Senior Producer responsible for developing Metal's programme in Southend on Sea. He is a musician, and is an experienced music promoter, having been instrumental in the development of the Sutton with Shopland Festival in Rochford, Essex from 2004 - 2007.  In his role at Southend's YMCA (2001 – 2007) he developed the pioneering Cue Music recording studio and accredited Open College Network course for young people.  He is skilled at developing and delivery a wide range of arts projects and disciplines.  Sean is based at Metal in Southend on Sea.

Emma Mollica

Emma Mollica is Metal's Operations Manager.  She brings extensive experience of working on large events and productions.  Her professional experience is mainly within Television.  She has worked most of her career to date in Talent Artist relations for MTV Networks Europe and amongst other things she worked on MTV Europe Music Awards.  She also worked for Hat Trick productions working on various shows including ‘Have I Got News for You’ and ‘Room 101’. Emma is based at Metal in Southend on Sea.

Jenny Porter

Jenny Porter is Project Manager at Metal.  She is a visual artist.  She joined Metal from the administrative team at FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool.  She has a wide knowledge of digital and new media work.  With fantastic IT skills, Jenny is an experienced administrator, and is developing her skills as a project manager and curator at Metal.  Jenny is based at Metal in Liverpool.

Sarah Haythornthwaite

Sarah Haythornthwaite is part-time Project Manager at Metal Peterborough, working as Arts Services Manager at Vivacity for the other half of the week. She is leading on a range of projects including ‘Upon this Rock’ which will launch the Peterborough Arts Festival. Until last year Sarah was based in the North West at the Bluecoat gallery in Liverpool and also Knowsley Borough Council. She comes from a background in arts management and arts participation, developing collaborative relationships between artists and new audiences.

Jodie Mellor

Jodie Mellor is Arts Administrator at Metal. She is a passionate advocate of the work of all types of artists and she works closely with the team in Liverpool to welcome artists and support their professional development. Jodie project manages the quarterly Future Station meetings at Edge Hill Station, inviting regular speakers to present their work as well as devising the surgery sessions to support artists and creative thinkers. Jodie also leads on the community garden project which began as a derelict piece of land between the station platforms and is now a thriving garden providing produce for Metal's regular artists' dinners. Jodie is a talented singer and songwriter, performer and a graduate of fine art (as well as a superb baker of cakes!). She sits on the board of the Suitcase Ensemble a theatre group currently based at the station.

Camilla Fox

Camilla Fox trained as a graphic designer and, after working in publishing for several years, taught design, had an interior decorating and design partnership, and has a MA in Event Marketing Management.  She is an experienced project manager and business administrator, and, outside of Metal, is involved in the running of a local annual festival.  Camilla runs the Metal Arts Award programme and is based at Metal in Southend on Sea.

Stephanie Stevenson

Stephanie is an Administrator at Metal. She first came to Metal as a volunteer during the Village Green festival. With a working knowledge of French and Italian, Stephanie comes from a background of Travel and Tourism working as an International Tour Manager. She has also worked extensively in administrative positions in training, banking and media. Stephanie is based at Metal in Southend on Sea.

Simon Poulter

Simon Poulter is an artist and curator based in London. He studied painting at Norwich School of Art and St Martins. Simon develops programmes and commissions for a variety of organisations including Metal, Watershed, MAC and the AND Festival. His practice engages the political aspects of digital culture with a continuing interest in behaviour and propaganda. He is Metal's freelance Artistic Curator at Metal, developing projects in Liverpool and Southend.

Michaela Freeman

Michaela Freeman is Metal's freelance Online & Social Media Editor, looking after Metal's website and social media, making films for Metal's online channel, and also looking after IDEA13, an online network for culture in Southend, set up by Metal in 2008. She also works as a curator and editor of State art magazine; with an MA in Fine Art Administration and Curatorship from Goldsmiths College. Michaela is based in Southend.

Ruth Campbell

Ruth Campbell is the new part-time co-ordinator for Idea1, the soon to be launched online events and listings platform developed and managed by Metal. She is based in Peterborough and a practicing artist having graduated from Central St Martins in 2010. She is currently also studying for her MA in Photography at London College of Communication.


Sir Anthony Caro
David Hockney


Jude Kelly OBE
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Nihal Arthanayake
Ian Thompson
Sir Ian McKellen
Rachel Lichtenstein
Paul Morley