Emily Porter (Trustee), Newcastle
Born to a British father and Iraqi mother, Dr Emily Amal Porter is a painter and writer, as well as an art historian, researcher on religion and art, and activist in human and women’s rights. Her paintings are heavily influenced by her cultural heritage and are the fusion of eastern and western ideal. She has studied in Iraq, Moscow, UK and USA, and has had a long and varied career spanning teaching, criticism, museum and charity work, as well as exhibiting worldwide.
Victoria Johnson (Trustee), London
Victoria Johnson is a multidisciplinary visual artist from the North West, currently living and working in South London.
Vic works collaboratively; exploring digital, sonic, immersive and performance art. Often presenting work in a live public setting, utilising unusual spaces and exploring challenging and universal themes in a playful, fantastical and surreal way.
She has been commissioned by Arts Council England, Eden Arts, Future Everything, King’s College London, Liverpool Biennial and Light Night Manchester. She is co-founder of CodeXXX Artistic production company.
Alongside her artistic practice Vic is a leading professional and contemporary arts marketeer; with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in the creative industries and arts organisations across the UK.
Currently the Head of Digital, Marketing and Communications, at Sound and Music, the national charity for new music, Vic aims to lead organisations in creative conversations and to embrace cultural debate.
She hopes to empower and engage others creative practitioners to work across artforms and to challenge organisations to develop a sustainable, diverse and powerful future for the arts.
Why do artist’s need a union?
It is shocking that for the last 30 years visual artists across multiple disciplines have had no voice or professional representation; and that we continue to undervalue the importance that cultural practice and that individuals artists contribute to our society.
Artists are still often expected to work for free, in unacceptable and unsafe conditions, and without the same considerations that others professional industries are awarded such as a basic rate of pay. This is not acceptable.
The Artists Union England is essential in challenging society, organisations, educational institutions and government – to change opinions, to supports artist’s and to develop a better, brighter, fairer and more hopeful future for us all.
Wajid Hussain (Trustee), Newcastle
Wajid Hussain is an artist and poet. He comes from an engineering background and his work is known to be perceptive, engaging with a hint of witty humour. His work has allowed him to perform, present and inspire many individuals of all age ranges, from school children to mature adults in prestigious as well as familiar venues and gatherings across the UK. Wajid’s work has challenged and changed perceptions as well as drawing creative flow from those who thought they had none to offer. The root of his creativity flows from a love of words and language.
Why do artists need a union?
Our creative industries have an immense value and contribution to enriching, engaging and developing our culture and heritage. Artists commit themselves to their practise to give value to the communities and participants, however this collective is slipping though the gaps when trying to find a place and voice. An artists union is about recognising this creative industry and protecting the development of our creative future. Artist Union England will be here not just to give security to artists but also to protect the future of artists living in England.