Laura Clarke appointed Artistic Director and Joint CEO ahead of organisation's move to Sheffield

Monday, September 2, 2019 - 10:45

Arts Catalyst is delighted to announce Laura Clarke as its new Artistic Director. Taking up the post on 15 October 2019, Laura will be responsible for steering the artistic vision of the organisation, building on its reputation for commissioning dynamic artworks that are underpinned by research and centred within the fields of science and technology. She will share the role of Joint CEO with Arts Catalyst’s current Executive Director Claudia Lastra ahead of an exciting transitional period that will see the organisation relocate its main base from London to Sheffield in 2020.
Since 2017, Laura has been Curator at S1 Artspace in Sheffield, during which time she oversaw the organisation’s successful move into a new gallery and studios complex at the Park Hill estate. She has developed exhibitions and public programmes for S1 including Love Among the Ruins and Construction House, programmed a residency with interdisciplinary design collective RESOLVE, commissioned a site-specific film and major solo exhibition by artist Ilona Sagar, and led on several artist development programmes. Prior to working at S1 Artspace, Laura held curatorial positions at the Hayward Gallery, Barbican Centre, and Nottingham Contemporary.
Speaking about the appointment, Laura said:
“I’m thrilled to be joining Arts Catalyst as Artistic Director and Joint CEO. Arts Catalyst has a long history of commissioning bold and experimental projects that are unafraid to take a political position on the world that we live in, challenging how art is valued and understood at a societal level. It’s a hugely exciting time for the organisation ahead of its move Sheffield – a city with a thriving cultural scene, rich history and unique landscape; the move marks an important shift towards recognising the enormous contribution that cities, towns and rural areas all over the country make to the UK’s cultural landscape. I’m looking forward to working with the team as the organisation enters this exciting next phase”.
Fabienne Nicholas, Chair of the Board of Trustees said:
“The Arts Catalyst board are delighted to welcome Laura to the team at a pivotal time for the organisation. Laura’s deep understanding of the Sheffield arts ecology will benefit us greatly as we plan our transition to the region and we look forward to the contribution her artistic vision will bring.”
Claudia Lastra, Executive Director and Joint CEO said:
“It’s fantastic that Laura will be joining us. I’ve no doubt that her experience and knowledge will stand us in good stead to build upon Arts Catalyst’s 25-year legacy of pioneering experimental work and to create a radical, transformative and fresh vision for the organisation together. Watch this space!”
Following the departure of Arts Catalyst’s founding director Nicola Triscott in April 2019, Arts Catalyst approaches a significant transformational moment during which time its central base will relocate to the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire. Together with Programme Curator Anna Santomauro, Laura will work with the team over the next year to develop Recentring Attention, a new strand of programming in Sheffield that builds on the relationships and knowledge Arts Catalyst has begun to form in the Yorkshire region via its Test Sites programme, as well as setting an artistic and strategic vision for the organisation that will ensure its future sustainability and maintain its status at the forefront of contemporary art discourse. 
Running in tandem with Arts Catalyst’s London programme, the exploratory phase of Recentring Attention will begin in September 2019 with a series of public workshops, deep mapping sessions, talks and gatherings with artists, scientists, architects, urbanists, sociologists and anthropologists. This programme will question what institutions are and reimagine what they could be. The knowledge gathered during this time will inform and shape Arts Catalyst’s future programme in Sheffield. More information about Arts Catalyst’s relocation can be found via
For further information, images and interview requests please contact Poppy Cockburn, Communications Officer via / Tel: +44 (0) 20 7278 8373