INTRODUCING… Lydia Heath & Laura Coleman, ONCA

Photo: Liam Geary Baulch

As many of you know, one of Blue Monkey Network’s aims is to provide opportunities for artists to get together and exchange knowledge, experience and ideas. Sometimes we think it’s also really useful to offer opportunities for artists to meet and get to know some of the people who make things happen in the arts in Sussex.

For our event in March, we’re pleased to be able to introduce you to Laura Coleman and Lydia Heath from ONCA gallery in Brighton. ONCA’s mission is to cultivate environmental and social wellbeing through the arts.

The organisation aims to inspire creativity and positive action in the face of environmental change, and to help galvanise the creation of a critical mass of work that responds to and explores these changes. In and around the ONCA Gallery, the team curates and hosts exhibitions, performances and outreach events that ask questions, tell stories and initiate conversations. Above the gallery, ‘Upstairs at ONCA’, there is a meeting room, library and co-working/studio spaces used by creative freelancers, academics, businesses and charities.

Laura Coleman is ONCA’s co-director. In her early twenties, she met a rescued puma in the Bolivian Amazon, and this ongoing friendship has informed her life and work since, as a curator, producer and as the founder of ONCA.  Supported by ONCA’s incredible team, she has taken a step back in order to research her PhD at the University of Hertfordshire, looking at the role of arts venues within the context of climate change. Laura grew up in Brighton, and couldn’t imagine a better place for ONCA.

Lydia Heath is a visual artist and curator whose work explores alternative futures and counter narratives to capitalism. She has been selected for exhibitions and residencies in Melbourne, Singapore, Spain and throughout the UK. Prior to joining ONCA, Lydia worked with a portfolio of organisations and artists leading professional development schemes and public art projects. She is also an aspiring gardener and passionate about tackling food waste.

Laura and Lydia will tell us more about some of the amazing projects which ONCA produce and support as well as talking about ways in which you might be able to get involved with ONCA.

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