MEET THE PROJECT TEAM

 

JANE LEE MCCRACKEN
Where Did All the Animals Go? Project Founder

Born in Edinburgh, Artist Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products.  Her work explores loss generated by human destruction and is representational of both life's beauty and brutal reality. 

From the artwork she produces, the workshops she runs to the products she designs, Jane's art practice provokes consideration of the impact of 'loss'. She creates memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life and environments lost through war or environmental destruction, communicating individual loss beyond statistics.

Jane has exhibited across the UK and internationally both in solo and group exhibitions and has been a Wolf & Badger UK designer since 2016. In 2014 as part of her art practice, she founded Drawing for Endangered Species Workshops (DFES), incorporate partnership with Born free. The workshops share Jane's passions for drawing and wildlife and give both adults and children the opportunity to learn about and draw vulnerable species. She has delivered workshops in over 20 schools and to hundreds of adults and children. Her DFES workshops became the foundation for her art and environmental education project Where Did All the Animals Go? which she established in 2019. By bringing art to schools and the community, this project not only sees children and adults become environmental brokers but also cultural ambassadors.

Jane's practice incorporates her philosophy of giving back to wildlife and human lives she highlights, without whom she couldn’t make her work. janeleemccracken.co.uk/

BORN FREE

LAURA GOSSET BSc (Hons) MSc 
Head of Education Born Free, Project Co-Partner

With a Master’s Degree in Environmental Conservation Management Laura joined the Born Free team in 2012 working in various roles within the Campaigns Team before taking on the role as Head of Education in 2017. Within this role Laura is responsible for the strategic development, planning and delivery of Born Free’s global education programme across Born Free’s country offices (in Kenya, Ethiopia, UK and South Africa) as well as through partner organisations. This programme aims to deliver both direct conservation and animal welfare education as well as holistic community projects aimed at addressing some of the most significant environmental challenges facing both people and wildlife. 

DAVID BOLTON
Education Officer Born Free, Project Co-Partner

After reading Oceanography at university, David qualified as a Geography teacher and has over 11 years of teaching experience in the UK and Hong Kong. David joined Born Free in 2018 as an Education Officer and coordinates the development, planning and delivery of Born Free’s UK Education Programme, with a specific focus on external education messaging, resource development and innovative outreach. In this role, David aims to create a communal sense of stewardship, built from receiving engaging, relevant and thought-provoking education that inspires curiosity and fascination about the natural world.

EDUCATION PARTNERS

CHRISTINE EGAN-FOWLER
Artist Teacher Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, Project Instigator and Co-Partner

Christine Egan-Fowler is an artist and teacher with a history of innovative collaborations that encourage participation, across subjects and with galleries. Christine has over 25 years of teaching experience in various schools across the region; Kenton School, Newcastle upon Tyne and St Mary’s School, Longbenton, and is currently teaching Art at The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne. She is committed to her job, her own creative development and to enhancing the learning of others.

In 2013 Christine graduated with Distinction from the MA Fine Art and Education, delivered by Northumbria University in partnership with BALTIC. Christine was awarded the BALTIC Artist Teacher Award 2012/13, selected by Director, Godfrey Worsdale.

Christine’s work is about memory. She creates and renews connections with forgotten aspects of her past; painting using materials which have a particular significance for her, such as washing powder, bleach and beeswax mixed with pigment. The materials she uses often have a resonant smell that helps instant recall.

Christine is interested in how performance can encourage participation, as a way of involving audiences in building collective memories. Her award winning exhibition at BALTIC in Jan 2013, ‘Memory Folds’, was a participatory show where performances by students from Royal Grammar School, joined members of the public. 80 students performed over a period of a month and the resulting ‘Memory Fold’ works numbered into the hundreds. The exhibition attracted many different age groups of people and they each shared their stories and memories. Many were moved by being able to share and participate. The work was later presented at Momentum, Frieze Art Fair in 2013 and ISADA conference at Sidcot School in 2014.

In 2015 Christine took part in ArtWorks Connecting the Conversation at BALTIC where she discussed her participatory practice in a conversation with artist Selina Thompson chaired by Ilana Mitchell, Artistic Director of Wunderbar. Documentation from this event is accessible on BALTIC+. balticplus.uk/artworks-connecting-the-conversation-part-1-christine-egan-fowler-c26654/ Christine won an ArtWorks Fellowship funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, supported by Barbican London and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead. The ArtWorks Fellowship resulted in her subsequent exhibition at BALTIC; Playing the Waiting Game The ArtWorks Fellowship – The Organisational Perspective 5th -27th Sept 2016 'An exploration of the connections between remembering and the senses, performance and painting, live and the archived.'

Christine has been involved with TALE, Tracking Arts Engagement and Learning - a three year research project investigating arts education in high schools in England, running from 2016 - 2018. She took part in the launch at the House of Lords in November 2018 of 'Time to Listen', a call for commitment to the Arts and culture; 'Every young person deserves to learn in an arts and culture rich school.'

Christine took part the recent BALTIC 39 conference 'In Need of Education’ as a teacher and a longstanding contributor to the MA in Fine Art and Education/ Artist Teacher Scheme, Northumbria University and BALTIC. 

In 2018 Christine alongside Linda Peacock, Arts Co-ordinator at Jarrow Cross CE Primary School, approached Jane with the idea or organising an exhibition of children's drawings created in her workshops. This culminated in Jane founding Where Did All the Animals Go? project.

As an artist, Christine, like Jane, brings intense experience of materials, methods of connecting visual ideas and different perspectives to the school community. They are cultural and environmental brokers; encouraging the children and teacher to think globally and connect their real experiences, narratives and their own memories with what is shown in galleries and museums.

"Jane is at the centre of the project 'Where Did All The Animals Go?’ bringing extraordinary drawing workshops to schools and communities. The workshops are based around simple materials and compelling contextual information that encourage reflective thinking and challenge ideas about animals and their capacity to thrive. Her charismatic patience and knowledge of subject connects with both children and teachers in an extraordinary 'deep dive' of learning" 

 

LINDA PEACOCK 

Cultural Lead Jarrow Cross CE Primary School, Project Instigator and Co-Partner

Linda Peacock worked as a glass artist before becoming a teacher. She is currently Early Years Lead at Jarrow Cross C E Primary School and also holds the position of Cutural Lead co-ordinating Expressive Arts and Design within the school. As Arts Award Adviser, over the years she has supported many children to achieve their Arts Award and certification at Discover and Explore levels.

"I endeavour to provide a rich and inspirational arts curriculum and support the children at Jarrow Cross to develop their cultural capital and reach their full creative potential."

 

KATIE LAWRENSON 
Co-ordinator of Art and Technology, Mortimer Primary School, South Shields, Project Co-Partner

As well as Co-ordinator or Art and Technology at Mortimer Primary School, Katie also teaches in Reception. She has been teaching for 13 years and has taught in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.

"I have always had a passion for the Arts and feel that my subjects are often the areas within the curriculum where sometimes children who are less academic really achieve. The Arts are a vastly important part of the curriculum as they show a unique side to every child and help as an outlet where by children can really express themselves."

 

 

SANDI LETTON
Arts Co-ordinator Bexhill Academy, Sunderland, Project Co-Partner

A teacher of 25 years, across Nottinghamshire and now Sunderland, Sandi is passionate about providing children with opportunities to shine. Having trained as an RE specialist, she loves when children talk about what they think and explore their ideas.  Impassioned by history, Sandi is enthusiastic about children learning from the past and exploring how the world has changed. This is particularly the case for her art planning, where all the units of work start with art history sessions and where the children can learn about the lives of amazing artists. Over the last three years, Sandi has been privileged to work with SEND children in a mainstream setting, nurturing their talents and allowing them access to a more personalised curriculum, some of whom are incredible artists and being given the opportunity to succeed is a boost to their confidence.

"When we took part in the initial project, many of the children selected to work with Jane were SEND. Their work was breathtaking. I believe that all children should have their work proudly displayed and endeavour to create a gallery each term of children's artistic achievements. I am proud to teach art, proud to work with phenomenal children and proud to be part of the project."

 

 

SARA PUNSHON
Arts Co-ordinator St Mary Magdalen's RCVA Primary School, Seaham, Project Co-Partner

Sara is a First-Class Graduate in Fine Art at University of Sunderland. She is is currently a Lower Key Stage Two Teacher and has been teaching at St Mary Magdalen’s for the past four years where she is Art Co-ordinator. 

'I believe that opportunities to be creative are fundamental to pupils’ wellbeing and attainment and as a Graduate in Fine Art I have continued my passion for art within my teaching practice. I hope that this project, which has given our children the opportunity to visit and exhibit their work in a local art gallery, will contribute to raising the profile for arts education throughout the North East. 

Jane has worked with our school on a number of occasions and the children always enjoy her workshops, producing some incredible drawings which are unique to each and every child.'

SAMANTHA MCCULLOCH
Junior School Staff, Royal Grammar School Newcastle, Project Co-Partner 

For the past eight years Samantha has been very lucky to work at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle in her dream role coordinating Art and DT in the Junior School. During her time at the school, she has organised annual Art Days, trips to art galleries, art club, sculpture club and pottery club. Samantha also runs very popular annual competitions such as the Christmas hat competition, photography competition and the Easter Eggstravaganza. Pupils follow a tailored curriculum to ensure good progress in art-based skills.

"I believe every child is an artist and my job as a teacher is to inspire children to find their talent within the art room."