Current members of the Executive Committee (serving 2018-20)
Members of the Executive Committee serve two years as volunteers, facilitating the continuation of the union.
There is more information about the current committee below:
Zita Holbourne, London
Joint National Chair
Zita Holbourne is an award winning visual artist, designer, art curator, author, poet and writer as well as an experienced trade union and community activist and human rights campaigner. She is the National Vice President of the Public & Commercial Services Union, the co-founder & National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, elected to the TUC Race Relations Committee and on the Board of Advisors for Initiative for Equality.Zita founded the Roots, Culture, Identity Art collective and curates exhibitions to showcase the art of young black and migrant artists. She campaigns against discrimination and cuts in the arts and culture sectors.She campaigns for equality, freedom, justice and human rights through art, poetry and activism. She is often described as a political artist and a griot of the struggle.Zita has exhibited art at diverse venues from the Tate & Congress House to cinemas and conferences and she has performed poetry at a broad range of events from radio and TV the Houses of Parliament and Glastonbury.
'A union for artists is important because there is an attempt to exploit and underpay artists and all workers deserve the same rights. Art has the ability to challenge discrimination and injustice, to educate, communicate ideas and to promote healing and unity.'
Martin Sundram, London
Joint National Chair
'I have combined my own art practice with a dozen years’ professional experience within the trade union movement, working for UCU (the college and university lecturers’ union). I have also involved myself over the years in a range voluntary work within the educational sector including governance roles for the Workers’ Educational Association, a provider of adult education particularly in the humanities, currently serving as a member of WEA’s national Council. Art makes a major contribution to the nation’s economy as well as the national quality of life in today’s Britain. The creative sector as a whole punches well above its weight in making this country a cultural world leader . It is important to me that practitioners have a strong voice in shaping how this contribution is supported and developed, which is why I am honoured to be associated with this new and ambitious Union as it engages with these issues, against the backdrop of today’s challenging economic and political environment, on behalf of all artists.'
Nastassja Simensky, Nottingham
Nastassja Simensky is an artist based in Nottingham and Artist Development Coordinator at Primary.
'Artists and art-workers need democratic representation and support in all aspects of their professional work. A robust union, which recognises artists work across a multitude of platforms, as individuals and collectively, can support members to stand with other workers to achieve fairer working conditions and to sustain their practice by challenging and improving terms of employment.'
Loraine Monk, Surrey
Loraine Monk is a Figurative Artist, Lecturer, Trade Unionist, Women’s Rights campaigner and Labour activist. She has completed two artist’s residencies, one at St Elisabeth Hospice, Ipswich in 2011 and the second at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough in 2015. Her previous work experience includes Youth work, Welfare Rights Advice, Parliamentary research and Lecturing in FE and Art Colleges. She has a studio in Hawks Rd Studios in SW London. Art practice has a unique ability to critique, describe and at times prescribe, our societies/communities; it has the ability to challenge discrimination and injustice, to educate, to communicate and to promote and improve health & wellbeing
'We need a union for art practitioners, in order to represent artists, to expose and fight the exploitation and underpayment of artists and protect their rights as workers. We need the AUE to lobby Arts Funding institutions and highlight areas of improvement, and above all to ensure that all diverse groups within our communities are represented and celebrated, as artists and as viewers and participants.'
Pam Foley, Oxford
Pam Foley is a sculptor and has maintained a studio practice in the UK for over 20 years. Prior to that she lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area. While in Oakland she worked for A.C.O.R.N., before eventually settling in San Francisco where she ran a women artists co-operative with a gallery, and worked in the SF school system as a visiting artist. Since moving to the UK she has continued to be involved in artist-run activities. In 2013 she attended the first meetings of the soon to be Artists’ Union England, becoming it’s Treasurer in 2016. She stepped off of the Executive Committee for most of 2019 to pursue a 10 year, on-going phased art project on sorrow, called Routes of Sorrow. She was co-opted onto the Executive Committee in November 2019.
Vanessa Maurice-Williams, Brighton
Vanessa Maurice-Williams was one of the founding members of AUE and was the Treasurer from 2013 – 2016. She has recently been co-opted back onto the Executive Committee, so that she can manage the finances of AUE’s Solidarity Fund, which she is a Trustee for and helped set up in 2020, due to Covid-19. Vanessa is a painter who makes large-scale installations. She finished her Masters from the Slade in 2013 and has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and The British School at Rome. She has exhibited widely, including SEAS and ONCA in Brighton, The Griffin Gallery, London and The Control Room, Bristol. She lives and works in Brighton.
Betsy Furber, Norwich
Betsy Furber is a creative based in Norfolk, and at times, London. They completed a degree in 2015 in Fine Art, with minors in Critical and Curatorial Practices. Due to health reasons they had a 3 year break from making art, and being involved with any art scene - during the break they developed a love for history projects and working in the archives. In 2019 they started a project of translating 31 lesbian diaries, “To My Grrrl Friends”, which had to be put on hold as the COVID crisis was unfolding. As of now (2021), they have started a new project “UK Queer History Archive Directory”, with many archives and libraries nationally and internationally involved. They hope to train as an archivist in the near future. They are also an artist member of Outpost Studios, Norwich. Also sits as a diversity ally for the Archive and Records Association, working on how to approach marginalised groups.
Calum Perrin, London