A block of nine images of Jo Verrent and Sarah Pickthall in conversation; text reads meet the push me curators

The Curators: Jo Verrent and Sarah Pickthall

Sarah and Jo have worked together for much of the last 10 years. They co-founded Sync – a national programme looking the interplay between disability and leadership for ACE and co-authored a series of essays on the creative case for diversity for ACE.

PUSH ME is incredibly important to them. Jo was an independent member of the Unlimited Selection Panel for LOCOG and Arts Council England and Sarah has worked closely as a Coach and Mentor with many of the artists as they developed their thinking and for this very important year, so they have both followed the journeys of PUSH ME‘s extraordinary commissions from the start.  For them, this process is all about legacy. As these commissions impact and change the lives of the artists involved and the audiences  who have contact with the work, so to does it have the power to change the arts sector and our sense of who can and can’t make exceptional art.

A bit more about Jo

Jo believes that ‘different’ is delicious not divergent; that it adds vibrancy and texture within the creative sector. Her work is about seeking to reframe the perception of diversity, through myriad events and opportunities – speaking, training, writing, researching, reporting and here – curating.

She works across sectors at both a front line and a strategic level with individuals, teams and organisations, including national agencies such as Creative Scotland and Arts Council England and revels in making people think differently about what and how they do things, placing diversity centrally in their thinking. She is currently a Clore Fellow for 2011/12.

She knows very little about digital arts – but is learning rapidly. She’s also a granny. Honest.


A bit more about Sarah

Sarah is a coach, consultant and freelance producer, former dancer and puppeteer.  Her work through her own company, Cusp Inc is about making people’s lives feel better and mean more where artists and creative people, including herself, challenge their own and society’s perceptions of what is possible through engineering globally relevant arts projects.

An award winning Coach -  her curation for PUSH ME  is about framing and emphasising this extraordinary work differently: asking the sort of questions of the artists that will change the way they and we see the work.  Her desire is that pushing this work into The Space will mean it will never be confined to the margins again because  it unquestionnably deserves centre stage.

Sarah has worked in children’s television as a writer and puppeteer for CITV – her hands were The Handymen for 10 years on  ZZZap for which she still has a massive cult following.