Project Team

Mentoring Team

The Mentoring Team offer a broad range of experience and expertise, and they will be available to support artists and organisations during the application process and throughout the project.

You can contact the Mentoring Team by email: mentors @

Photo credit: Anna Mitchell

Elaine Blake, Reading Museum

With a Fine Art background and years of working with artists and craftspeople Elaine Blake has a sympathetic ear, and great enthusiasm for creative projects. She has been involved in a number of art commissions including site specific installations and, if you are interested in aspects of Reading’s history or environment, she can offer a wealth of local contacts and the collective knowledge of her colleagues at the museum.

Cllr Karen Rowland

Karen Rowland has spent her life in the arts world. She enjoyed a long, successful career as a fashion design director in NYC, Europe and Asia, also designing a high-end, limited-production furniture line along the way. She switched careers to heritage conservation in 2018 and actively advocates for ensuring residents have a voice in planning and shaping their own communities. She is currently the Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation at Reading Borough Council.

Suzanne Stallard, Jelly

Suzanne Stallard is a Reading born artist and founder of Jelly, an award winning Arts charity. Jelly is an organisation built on artists nurturing and developing each other; embedding creative excellence and engaging work into our diverse community. Jelly acts as a catalyst, making space for art every day. In her role at Jelly, Suzanne has worked on a number of public art commissions and has mentored emerging and mid career artists.

Sam Stead, Open Hand Open Space

Sam Stead studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art and worked for almost 10 years at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop as technician and workshop manager. He has worked as a freelance installation technician, fabricator and project manager for organisations such as Modern Art Oxford and Glasgow International.

Sam is based in Reading. He is chair of local arts organisation OpenHand OpenSpace on Oxford Road where he has a studio.

Technical Advisory Panel

The Technical Advisory Panel will be availble as consultants throughout the project to provide advice and support on a wide range of technical matters.

Andrew Asante, LIV

Working as the Asset Manager for LIV on the Weldale Street project – I come from a Property Management background, and am skilled in mobilisation and the management of Build to Rent (BtR) assets. I also have experience in implementing operational management procedures, establishing market strategies, and building long lasting relationship with local businesses and institutions. I am involved in the dressing of the show apartments and am involved in the aesthetics of the development. I will be able to provide information and guidance in relation to the overall sculpture design, texture, colour and size.

James Chard, Associate, AWW Architects

A senior Architect with AWW since 2014 James benefits from a wide range of experience delivering both large, medium, and small-scale projects through all work stages. 

Experienced in Residential, Commercial, Retail, Education and Healthcare, James project experience spans the UK, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia.  

As the project Architect, James has been involved with the Weldale Street, Domain project since its inception in 2015. He can provide both technical and contextual guidance to the artists.  

Stefan Nardini, Hydrock

Hydrock deliver award-winning engineering services across a variety of sectors. As a member of Hydrock’s Building Performance Engineering Team, which has been responsible for the design of all the electrical and mechanical services throughout the building i.e. lighting, heating, ventilation, Stefan can advise on all matters relating to lighting, power supplies, water supplies, heating, ventilation, and data connections.

Stefan will also be able to bring in expertise from colleagues who are advising on specialist aspects such as fire and acoustic engineering.

David Townsend, Fairhurst

David is the Principal Director responsible for the Fairhurst Bristol office. Fairhurst provide professional Civil, Structural and Geo-environmental Consultancy services to the construction industry and have been responsible for these elements of work at Weldale Street Reading. Our involvement has included detailed review of the sites ground conditions, to establish suitable foundation solutions and ensure environmental issues on the site are to the satisfaction of the LPA, and to develop and implement the full structural and civil engineering design of the development.