The Arts Foundation Ambassadors are comprised of both fellows, past trustees, advisors and nominators who have been involved in the Foundation’s work over the past 29 years. The Ambassadors generously advocate for and support the future workings of the charity.
Siobhan Davies CBE
Siobhan Davies is Artistic Director of Siobhan Davies Dance and a renowned British choreographer who rose to prominence in the 1970s. Davies was a founding member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre and in 1982 joined forces with Richard Alston and Ian Spink to create independent dance company Second Stride. Founding Siobhan Davies Dance in 1988, she works closely with collaborating artists to ensure that their own artistic enquiry is part of the creative process. By 2002 she moved away from the traditional theatre circuit and started making work for gallery spaces. Davies applies choreography across a wide range of creative disciplines including visual arts and film. Recent choreographic works have been presented at some of the most prestigious art institutions in the UK and Europe, including Lenbachhaus (Munich), Whitechapel Gallery (London) and Turner Contemporary (Margate).
Image credit: Rachel Cherry, 2011
Sir Richard Eyre
Richard Eyre has worked in theatre, film and opera for 50 years. He directed in Leicester, Edinburgh and Nottingham before becoming Director of the National Theatre in 1988. For 10 years he directed numerous productions there including Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, Guys and Dolls, Night of the Iguana, John Gabriel Borkman and new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton, Tony Harrison and Nicholas Wright.
Subsequently he has directed many plays in the West End and on Broadway including Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Crucible, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, My Name Is Lucy Barton and Mary Poppins.
He was producer of BBC TV’s Play for Today from 1978-81 and on tv his credits include The Insurance Man, Tumbledown, Henry IV, The Dresser and, recently, King Lear with Anthony Hopkins. His feature films include Iris, Notes on a Scandal and The Children Act. He has directed the operas La Traviata at the Royal Opera House and Carmen, Werther, Le Nozze di Figaro and Manon Lescaut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He has published two memoirs - Utopia and Other Places and National Service, a collection of interviews with theatre people - Talking Theatre, a collection of essays - What Do I Know? and a collection of poetry – Place to Place. He has received many awards, was knighted in 1997 and became a Companion of Honour in 2017.
Sir Antony Gormley
Born in London in 1950, Antony Gormley has had a number of solo shows at venues including Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018); the Long Museum, Shanghai (2017); National Portrait Gallery, London (2016); Forte di Belvedere, Florence (2015); Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2014); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (2012); Deichtorhallen Hamburg; State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2010); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Kunsthalle zu Kiel; Malmö Konsthall (1993); and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (1989). A major solo exhibition of his work will be presented at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in September 2019. Permanent public works include the Angel of the North (Gateshead, England), Another Place (Crosby Beach, England), Exposure (Lelystad, The Netherlands) Chord (MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA). He has also participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany. Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 and has been a member of the Royal Academy since 2003. He was made an Officer of the British Empire in 1997 and knighted in 2014.
Director / Writer / Producer Asif Kapadia first gained recognition while a student at the Royal College of Art with his short film THE SHEEP THIEF which won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. Kapadia's debut feature THE WARRIOR, made in India won BAFTA awards for Outstanding British Film & Best Debut Feature, SENNA, the thrilling story of the Brazilian Formula One legend Ayrton Senna, won BAFTAs for Best Documentary and Best Editing. Kapadia’s film AMY told the story of singer songwriter Amy Winehouse using her own words and lyrics. AMY won the Academy Award, BAFTA, European Film Award and Grammy for Best Documentary. Kapadia directed two episodes of the critically acclaimed Netflix series MINDHUNTER for David Fincher and has recently completed his new film on the controversial Argentinian footballer DIEGO MARADONA. His next project will be an adaptation of the international bestselling SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari.
BAFTA award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia is known for his visually striking films exploring the lives of ‘outsiders’, characters living in timeless, extreme and unforgiving circumstances or landscapes. His films have been distributed internationally, winning many awards and shown how versatile and expressive British cinema can be.
Born in Hackney, London in 1972, Kapadia studied filmmaking at the Royal College of Art where he first gained recognition with his short THE SHEEP THIEF (1997) telling the story of a street kid and the family who take him in, made with non professional actors in Rajasthan, India, the film won many awards including Second Prize at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival (Cinefoundation), the Grand Prix at the 1997 European Short Film Festival in Brest & Best Director at the Poitiers Film Festival 1997.
Kapadia’s first feature THE WARRIOR (2001, FilmFour), was shot in the deserts of Rajasthan and the snow capped Himalaya. The film was championed in the British Press as ‘epic’and ‘stunning’ (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian) was nominated for three BAFTA awards, winning two for Outstanding British Film of the Year and The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a Director in their First Feature.
SENNA, (2010, Working Title / Universal Pictures) Kapadia’s fourth feature is the epic story of the monumental life of Brazilian motor-racing legend, Ayrton Senna. Spanning a decade, it follows his battles on track and off, against the politics that infest the sport. SENNA is currently the highest grossing British documentary of all time and was winner of the World Cinema Documentary - Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival 2011
Wayne McGregor CBE
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award-winning British choreographer and director. He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, the creative engine of his life-long choreographic enquiry into thinking through and with the body. Studio Wayne McGregor encompasses his extensive creative collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science; Company Wayne McGregor, his own touring company of dancers; and highly specialized learning and research programmes. Studio Wayne McGregor opened its own newly created studio spaces at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in March 2017.
Wayne McGregor is also Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, where his productions are acclaimed for their daring reconfiguring of classical language. He is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Plymouth University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from University of Leeds. He is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London.
McGregor is regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the most important ballet companies around the world, including Paris Opera Ballet, ABT, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Munich Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. He has choreographed for theatre, opera, film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fantastic Beasts, Sing, Mary Queen of Scots), music videos (Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers), fashion (Gareth Pugh at London Fashion Week, 2017), campaigns (Selfridges), TV (Brit Awards, 2015 & 16), and site specific performances (Big Dance Trafalgar Square, 2012).
McGregor's work has earned him four Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, two Time Out Awards, two South Bank Show Awards, two Olivier Awards, a prix Benois de la Danse and two Golden Mask Awards. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance.
Rufus Norris is Director of the National Theatre, where he recently directed Macbeth, Mosquitoes, My Country; a work in Progress, The Threepenny Opera, wonder.land and Everyman. He was previously an Associate Director at the National, directing Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Amen Corner, Table, London Road, Death and the King’s Horseman and Market Boy. Productions elsewhere include Feast, Vernon God Little, Peribanez, Tintin, Afore Night Come and Sleeping Beauty for the Young Vic; Festen and Blood Wedding for the Almeida; Under the Blue Sky and About the Boy for the Royal Court, and many others. His productions of Cabaret, Festen, Tintin and The Country Girl have all played in the West End and toured nationally, and he directed Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway. Opera work includes Dr Dee with Damon Albarn for MIF and ENO, and Don Giovanni at ENO. His debut feature film Broken had its premiere at Cannes in 2012; his film of London Road was released in June 2015. In 2016, Rufus collaborated with Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller on we’re here because we’re here – a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. It was a UK-wide event, commissioned by 14-18 NOW, produced by the National Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with 26 organisations, and with over 1400 volunteers involved.
Alex Shulman CBE
Alexandra Shulman was Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue from 1992-2017. Previous to that she edited British GQ and worked on The Sunday Telegraph and Tatler. She has written two novels and a non-fiction book about masterminding the centenary of British Vogue and is a weekly columnist for The Mail on Sunday. She is known as a commentator and consultant on fashion, lifestyle, female leadership and the media.
She was a Trustee of The National Portrait Gallery from 1999-2007 and of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity from 2009-2014. She was a director ofThe Conde Nast International board and is currently Vice President of The London Library.
Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge.
Her books have won and been shortlisted for many awards. Her publications include How To Be Both (2014), winner of the Goldsmiths and Baileys Prize and the Costa Book Award for Best Novel; a collection of short stories, Public Library (2015), and the novels Autumn (2016) and Winter (2017), the first two novels in a "seasonal quartet". Like Smith's earlier novels Hotel World (2001), The Accidental (2005) and How to Be Both, Autumn was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Her Works to Date
2015 Public Library
2014 How to Be Both
2011 There But For The
2008 The First Person and Other Stories
2008 The Book Lover
2007 Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis
2006 The Seer
2004 The Accidental
2003 The Whole Story and Other Stories
2002 Pretext Volume 5
2001 Hotel World
2000 Brilliant Careers: 100 Years of Women's Fiction
1999 Other Stories and Other Stories
1998 Wild Ways: New Stories About Women on the Road
1995 Free Love and Other Stories
1995 Scottish Love Stories