Our Board of Trustees
Nick Varian - Chair - Nick is ex-CEO of Orient Express and brings his vast business experience to Strange Cargo's Board of Trustees. He has now curtailed his globe trotting and he is retired to Sandgate near Folkestone.
Jennifer Thatcher - Jennifer is a freelance art critic and lecturer. She is a regular contributor to Art Monthly and ArtReview magazines, and has also written for MAP, Mute, Modern Painters, Flash Art, Blueprint and The Internationale. She is a consultant lecturer on the MA in Contemporary Art course at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. She is an organiser for the Public Programmes (for adults and students) for events including the 2014 Folkestone Triennial.
Jennifer was Director of Talks at the ICA, London (2003-9), and Managing Editor of contemporary magazine (2001-3). She co-curated Talk Show at the ICA (2009) and Video London, a survey show of 200 emerging British artists as part of Barcelona’s Loop festival (2005).
She lives in Folkestone.
Dr. Anthony Downey - Anthony is Programme Director MA Contemporary Art Sotheby's Institute. His research activities and teaching focuses on North African and Middle Eastern artists, collaborative and participative art practices, human rights, bio-politics and migration, and the potential for an ethics of engagement within the context of contemporary art practices. In recent years, Anthony has given keynote presentations and talks at a number of international institutions including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, New York University and Cornell University. He has also given interviews for CNN’s African Voices programme and the BBC’s Islam and the Popular Imagination, contributed to Iran Beyond its Borders (1960-2010) as part of the Bruges Cultural project “Horizons” in October 2011, and is chairing upcoming events for the Liverpool Biennial, Frieze Art Fair, and the 2012 AICA conference on Globalisation and the Arts.
Anthony has recently lectured and published essays on contemporary Iranian visual culture; postcolonial theory and contemporary African artists; digital media and revolutionary aesthetics. Anthony lives in Folkestone.
JJ Charlesworth - JJ has been writing about contemporary art since he left Goldsmiths College London in 1996, where he did a degree in art. He is associate editor at the leading contemporary art magazine ArtReview and writes regularly on art for magazines such as Art Monthly, Time Out London and the US website Art Agenda. He is currently researching a doctoral thesis at the Royal College of Art, on British art criticism in the 1970s and in common with most Trustees, is also a Folkestone resident.
Gary Bourne - Gary qualified as Chartered Surveyor in 1989 and became a Director of Cyril Sweett, where he worked in their London offices for a total period of eleven years. His specialisation was Development and Project Management. Gary joined Bride Hall in 1998 and became Director and Head of Project Delivery in 1999. His experience encompasses retail developments, mixed used schemes, industrial and office developments.
Gary was joint Director of Pendower Developments Ltd which was set up in 2007 to work exclusively with Stanhope on major town centre regeneration projects and subsequently joined Stanhope as Development Director in 2009.
Len Mayatt - Len has a background in local government, having worked at Shepway and Swale Councils prior to his current role as Cultural Projects Manager at Ashford Borough Council. He was born and brought up in Folkestone and brings his extensive knowledge of the town to Strange Cargo.
Jyll Bradley - Born Folkestone, UK, 1966. Lives and works in London. Jyll’s installations, drawings and sculptures draw upon aspects of minimalism to express a personal engagement with identity and place. Light is an important protagonist in her practice, and she talks of using it to ‘bring things into the present’. Her work often combines craftsmanship with industrial fabrication through dynamic pairings of materials from different art histories or traditions.
Jyll studied at Goldsmiths College (1985–88) and The Slade (1991–3). Since the early 1990s she has exhibited in the UK and internationally including: The British Art Show, Hayward Gallery, London (1990); Museo De Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia (2004); Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China (2004); Arnolfini, Bristol, (2005); the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2008); Newlyn Art Gallery (The Exchange), Penzance (2010); the Bluecoat, Liverpool (2011); The National Library of Australia (2013); The Drawing Room, London (2015 and 2017); New Art Centre, Roche Court (2017); Sculpture in the City (2018).
Bradley’s work is held in numerous private and public collections including the Government Art Collection, UK; the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; the National Library of Australia and Canberra Museum and Art Gallery.