Our Fellows and Trainees

MShed Bristol exterior © Quintin Lake

Jo Barlow, Fellow

Jo has been involved in cultural heritage throughout her life. After gaining her BA in Fine Art, incorporating art history, she went on to work as an independent artist, developing her understanding of the museum sector by working in Visitor Services teams across multiple museum sites. She has also worked as a curatorial volunteer for Glenside Hospital Museum. Her interests cover a broad range of topics, so she enjoys creating thematic connections across multiple curatorial areas.

She believes that museums should involve and consider their local communities, and has a keen interest in collaborative work. Jo is the Curating for Change Fellow at Bristol Culture.

© Museum of London

Suchitra Chatterjee (Suchi), Fellow

Suchi is our Curating for Change Fellow at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. There is an interview with her here.

Will Clark, Trainee

Will is a Curatorial Trainee with the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Cumbria close to where he was born and raised. Will has a first class honours degree in Outdoor Recreation Management from Sheffield Hallam University. Will was incredibly active and passionate about outdoor adventure until a cycling injury in 2012 left him paralysed from the shoulders down (C4 complete).

Will is Unitary Councillor for Windermere & Ambleside and a member of the Lake District National Park Authority. He is enjoying his time at Dove Cottage looking at early visitors to the Lake District, the activities they enjoyed and the romanticism of the experiences which they wrote about.

Claudia Davies, Fellow

Claudia Davies is currently a Curating for Change Fellow at the Black Country Living Museum. She has a background in archaeology and heritage as she completed her BA in Anthropology and Archaeology in 2021, and MA in International Cultural Heritage Management in 2022 at Durham University. She is deaf and has a passion for better representation of D/deaf and disabled people and stories, as well as the accessibility and inclusivity of museum spaces and interpretation. Claudia’s undergraduate and masters dissertations focused on D/deaf access to museums and heritage sites, respectively. She is due to complete her Fellowship in February 2024 and wants to pursue a career in the museum and heritage sector

Jack Guy, Fellow

Jack is a Curating for Change Fellow at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery from Wales. Jack has a keen interest in museums and enjoys finding new objects and learning about their past. He loves to draw and often combines his passions, sketching objects from the museum. Regularly with someone else’s pen.

Outside of work, he loves exploring the local area, cooking, and watching his favourite football team Manchester City.

Charlotte Hyde, Trainee

Charlotte was a Trainee at Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, based at Wollaton Hall. She completed her Traineeship in November 2022. 

Charlotte has a keen interest in gallery design, exhibition planning, and audience engagement. She is currently in the process of writing a paper on the John Ruskin Collection at Nottingham Natural History Museum, creating teaching and learning resources for the newer galleries in the museum, and providing input on the Wollaton Hall Transformation Project. Charlotte completed her MA in Museum and Heritage Development at Nottingham Trent University in September 2022. 

Charlotte is also moderately deaf. She completed her Level 3 in British Sign Language in 2020, after learning the language alongside her BA English Literature degree at the University of Reading. She wears two pink hearing aids and considers herself culturally deaf. Charlotte also considers herself an accessibility advocate, and does so via Twitter, getting involved in campaigns such as #SubtitleIt with RNID and RNIB, and writing for the deaf blog The Limping Chicken. 

In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys tending to her houseplants, playing cozy video games, and losing herself in a good book.

You can find Charlotte’s tweets @charlhyde

Kyle Jordan, Fellow

Kyle Lewis Jordan is the Curating for Change Fellow working with both the Ashmolean Museum and Pitts River’s Museum in Oxford. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Kyle has been passionate about ancient Egypt since he was six years old and has had the ambition of being Director of the British Museum since he was ten. He has recently concluded his MA in the Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East at UCL, where his thesis explored the role and significance of disabled bodies within early court societies in Predynastic Egypt. An early career Egyptologist, Kyle is passionate about improving our knowledge and understanding of disability in ancient Egypt and wider antiquity, and has given multiple talks and papers on the subject. He has also had prior experience volunteering with Museums, in particular the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology and the British Museum.

Over the course of his fellowship, Kyle is determined to utilise the Ashmolean and Pitt River’s vast collections – spanning large ranges of time and space – to further develop his ideas on the longer history of disability within the human story, and to share those stories both with his colleagues and the wider public. Through doing so he not only hopes to shift public and professional perceptions about disabled people, but to share with disabled people themselves that the human story has always been theirs, and that none of it would have been possible without them.

Karl Mercer, Trainee

Karl Anthony Mercer is a writer, poet, musician and communicator with a passion for improving access and diverse voices in culture and heritage. Fuelled by his working class upbringing and a late diagnosis of autism. 

Karl believes anything and everything can be interesting if you can find the right story in it. But his main subjects of interest are biology and natural history (Please ask him about wasps, he will make you love them!) And Roman history; particularly the late Republic and early Principate, and early Roman Britain.

He was our Curating for Change Trainee at Colchester and Ipswich Museums.

Andrew Permain, Trainee

Andrew was the Curating for Change Trainee at Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Andrew is a History graduate, has a Masters in Museum Studies and has some voluntary work experience in museums. He has a keen interest in Military and Social History and the stories that can be told from collections, research and oral histories. He gained experience in curatorial work and explored these interests further at Duxford. Andrew completed his traineeship at the end of October and is hoping to pursue a career in curation.

Freya Purcell, Curatorial Fellowship Assistant

Freya was a Curatorial Trainee with North Hertfordshire Museum. She has been appointed Curatorial Fellowship Assistant at Bristol Culture. Trained in the history of design, she has always been interested in looking at how material history can be used to explore social history and place. She completed her Traineeship in November 2022 and is hoping to pursue a career in Curation.

Verity Shillabeer, Trainee

Verity Shillabeer was Curating for Change Trainee at The MERL. Her work at the museum explored and celebrated the identity and culture of disability. During her Traineeship, Verity investigated objects that amplify disabled voices present in The MERL’s collections. The resulting exhibition seeks to showcase those collections and reveal the powerful and personal stories of disability.

Amelia Silver, Fellow

Hello, my name is Amelia and I am the Curating for Change Fellow at the Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds. I am looking at disability in the museum, including building on the representation of people with disabilities in our galleries, and improving access to museum spaces and exhibitions. I was diagnosed with a rare eye condition in 2021 which distorts the vision in my right eye. I hope to create more options for consuming information in the museum that don’t require vision – think audio descriptions, audio tours, soundscapes… the possibilities are endless. I have already learnt so much from the amazing team here at the Thackray, and from my cohort of fellows, and I can’t wait to see what challenges the rest of my placement will bring. You can read more about Amelia on the Thackray Museum website here.

Iris Sirendi, Fellow

Iris is Curating for Change Fellow at the Museum of Liverpool. She is passionate about social history, folklore and about the stories that connect us all together. As well as disability history, she’s especially excited about sharing all the wonderful things that have shaped her life: working class history, LGBTQ+ history, and the incredible cultural heritage of migrants in the UK (especially other first-generation Estonians in England!). Iris is delighted to be a part of Curating for Change, and to be furthering the incredibly meaningful work of making disability heritage as visible and accessible as it should be.

Courtesy of the National Railway Museum

Amy Thraves-Connor, Fellow

Amy is currently a Curating for Change Fellow at the National Railway Museum in York. Having completed an undergraduate degree in Fine Art, she is excited about the prospect of exploring the art objects and wider collection at the NRM, seeing what new stories can be uncovered. Alongside working at the NRM, she also continues to make her own artwork, drawing inspiration from the landscape and the world around her and can often be found outside, drawing and painting with friends.

Nina Thomas, Trainee

Nina Thomas was the Curating for Change Trainee at Horniman Museum and Gardens. She is also a deaf artist and aspiring curator. As an artist, she often begins her work by researching the archives and is particularly interested in absences and silences in collections and archives. She has exhibited at venues and events such as Liberty Festival, The Crypt Gallery (NW1), Tate Modern (Tate Exchange and Tate Lates), LUX (online) and OVADA (Oxford). Nina believes a properly inclusive society benefits us all. She is interested in the work the heritage sector is doing to welcome and include marginalised voices. She worked on the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) to archive the history of the Disability Arts Movement. She is a founding member of The Film Bunch. Within her role at The Film Bunch, she curated the online screening ‘Deaf Experience’. She has also worked on access and advisory projects at the V&A, British Ceramics Biennial, The Wallace Collection and The British Museum. She is a trustee at Stagetext.

Isabel Webster, Trainee

Isabel is currently Curating for Change Trainee at The Sedgewick and Kettle’s Yard Museum in Cambridge. Isabel has a keen interest in the Natural Sciences and is looking to explore this further during her placement. She is due to complete her Traineeship in March 2023.