We advocate for people in the visual arts, connect artistic communities, raise visibility, campaign for diversity and build resilience to enable the South West visual arts sector to thrive.
People walking through a field with their backs to the camera with a lighthouse in background
A room with a projector screen and a table displaying various objects. The objects have small spotlights shining and microphones directed at them


Visual Arts South West is a sector support organisation. Our mission is to advocate for people in the visual arts to enable the sector in South West England to thrive.

Our vision is one of justice, inclusion, success, and celebration for all across the visual arts.

Join us as we make it real.

Core aims

Increased recognition of the value of the visual arts

- We promote organisations and artists with our What's On, Directory and Opportunities.
- Our newsletter reaches thousands in the region and beyond,sign up now
- With CVAN we campaign for national support and recognition of visual arts

Development of a sustainable, supportive, resilient, and inter-connected sector

- We bring together Associate Programmes to strengthen their role. We run events and initiatives to understand local issues and connect people
- We analyse the needs of art workers and organisations and evidence this to drive continued and considered investment
- We support the visual arts community to manage financial risk and precarious work conditions

To tackle structural and systemic issues in the sector

- We created Together We Will and are working to ensure the visual arts sector commits to upholding intersectional practice. We approach this work knowing we will never finish learning to be better.

Working Nationally

We are based at Spike Island in Bristol, as part of their National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England. We are an independent organisation connected to the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN).

CVAN is a national consortium of artists, arts professionals and arts organisations in England. Whilst every regional CVAN organisation has their own particular focus and identity, the purpose of the network is to connect people working in the visual arts, alongside professionals in other fields around the world, in order to share information, ideas and resources.

As part of CVAN, we work collectively to realise a stronger, more resilient visual arts sector for artists, arts organisations, and audiences. CVAN advocates for our regional arts institutions, spaces, and artists - working towards a sustainable future for all.

Subscribe to our newsletter for up to date information about our current work and plans.

Our In-house Team

Network Manager, part time

Paula Orrell

Paula Orrell is the lead for Visual Arts South West and Director of CVAN England. Her experience includes the relaunch of the Centre of Contemporary Art Art Toi Moroki, Christchurch, New Zealand. She spent her early career developing the visual arts in Plymouth, and has worked for Arts Council England. Paula is a leading advocate in the sector and Co-Chair of the Coventry Biennial.

Hannah BA Ssympoisum2
South West Sector Support Manager, part time

Hannah Rose

Hannah Rose is a Plymouth based artist, curator and producer. She established and is Curator of MIRROR at Arts University Plymouth, and has played a key role in advocating for and supporting the development of visual arts in the city and region through her varied roles, including as one half of the artist duo LOW PROFILE.

Lucy Badrocke
West of England Visual Arts Alliance Sector Support Manager, part time

Lucy Badrocke

Lucy is a curator and producer from Bristol. Working independently, she leads a commission programme that brings together artists, residents, and community partners to create new work through collaboration and exchange. Lucy was previously curator at Arnolfini, and has held positions at Picture This, Media Art Bath and Situations.

Jasmine Photo by Alexander Polis
Administrator, part time

Jasmine Thompson

Jasmine is an illustrator, mural artist and designer based in Bristol. She is passionate about sector change, and advocating for marginalised artists and communities. Jasmine has installed murals with Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Museum and Barbican. She is a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio and is a board member at Rising Arts Agency.

Steering Group

Helen Cammock Alun Callender

Helen Cammock


Woodrow Kernohan

Director at John Hansard Gallery
Abbi Bayliss
Steering group member

Abbi Bayliss

Visual Artist and Design Illustrator
Yasmin Joan Qureshi
Steering group member

Yasmin Joan Qureshi

Photo: @shamphat

Amanda Lynch By Jim W
Steering group member

Amanda Lynch

Artist, curator and researcher
Cultivator synesthesia MELANIE 24 v3
Steering group member

Melanie Stidolph

Curator, Public Programme at Tate St Ives
Erika profile1 1
Steering group member

Erika Cann

Steering group member

Laura Hopes

Rocca Holly Nambi
Steering group member

Rocca Holly-Nambi

Cultural producer and director of B-Side
Georgia Iona Newman image colour low res
Steering group member

Georgia Newman

The Island Collection - Deputy Executive Director

Janine Boyer


By becoming a VASW member and contributing to our website, you’re helping to strengthen the visual arts community across the region.