From rugged rural coastlines to clustered urban environments, VASW connects artistic communities throughout South West England as a way of raising visibility, advocating diversity and developing resilience across the visual arts sector.
About VASW 3
About VASW 2

Our Ambition

Visual Arts South West is a sector support organisation. Our Mission is to advocate, challenge and enable the visual arts to thrive in South West England.

Our core aims are to:

  • Raise the visibility of the South West's visual arts sector, both in the region and nationally
  • Advocate for diverse perspectives our area
  • Focus on addressing the significant issues facing the sector in the region
  • Develop a more resilient visual arts sector

We're based at Spike Island as part of their National Portfolio Organisation funded by the Arts Council England. We are an independent organisation part of the national Contemporary Visual Arts Network and in a position to apply for funding to develop our own work specific to the South West.

Sector Support
We seek to connect those working in the visual arts to reduce barriers between individual practitioners, organisations and funding.

Our In-house Team

Network Manager

Paula Orrell

Whilst leading the network, Paula is an independent curator and consultant and known for her curatorial approach in engaging new audiences with the visual arts and ability in supporting the development of emerging artists at the same time as working with established international artists. Art ecology and community are central to her work, as well as a socially engaged approach.

Nella 03 sq
Network Administrator

Nella Aarne

Alongside managing administrative processes for Visual Arts South West, Nella is a curator co-directing Obsidian Coast in Bradford-on-Avon and convening the Of Animacy Reading Group at the ICA, London.

Obsidian Coast
Digital Comms Specialist

Daniel Waller

With marketing experience across a wide range of industries, Daniel brings a fresh perspective to VASW. His vision lies in developing a forward-thinking digital strategy that ensures the visual arts community finds true value in all of VASW’s external comms.

Steering Group

Associate Director, Arts and Culture

Louise Coysh

University of Southampton
Director of Arts

Jamie Eastman

University of Bath
Contemporary Art Curator & Programmer

Lara Goodband


Robert Leckie

Spike Island
Independent Curator

Zoe Li


Emily Bull

Creative Youth Network

Woodrow Kernohan

John Hansard Gallery

Jane Sutherland


Emma Morris

The Paddock Project

Vickie Fear

Aspex Gallery


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

Our Supporters

Since 2012, ongoing support from Arts Council England and partnered organisations have given VASW the power to make an invaluable impact.