As I celebrated my birthday last weekend, I was struck by how much has changed for me over the past 12 months. Since this time last year, I have had the immense good fortune to have made countless new friends from all over the world as part of the ISPA Fellowship, I have come through difficult and trying times, and I have become a stronger person – physically and mentally.
I’m not a great one for “things” but there are two items in particular that, for me, symbolise the journey of my arts career so far, and how privileged I am to be surrounded by such amazing and inspiring people. First is my little terracotta soldier, given to me by Emilie Wang when I left the Southbank Centre back in 2013 to take on my first role in Development. He has watched over me from every desk in every role I’ve worked since, and now sits in pride of place on my new desk at home. The other is the scarf that Heena Patel gave to me at the ISPA conference in Montreal this May. For me, this scarf marks the moment when I made a momentous decision to go it alone as a freelancer, and represents the incredible support and encouragement from the extended ISPA family who were so instrumental in giving me the strength to take the leap.
I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to those who have helped me on my way. Thanks to all you amazing people too numerous to name here, and all those I’ve forgotten or who passed through my life so swiftly that I never even caught their names.
Right now, as I sit writing a biography for my new life as a freelancer, I recognise that I’m very much in listening mode, absorbing inspiration and ideas. If there are any festivals or conferences you think I should attend, any work you think I should see, any organisations you think I should visit, drop me a line. This is the start of a whole new chapter for me, and I want to take it all in!
First published on LinkedIn on 10 September 2017