Ryan Gander is a visual artist who has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms – from sculpture to film, writing, graphic design, installation, performance and more besides.
Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, as well as a reinvention of both the modes of appearance and the creation of an artwork. His work can be reminiscent of a puzzle, or a network with multiple connections and the fragments of an embedded story. It is ultimately a huge set of hidden clues to be deciphered, encouraging viewers to make their own associations and invent their own narrative in order to unravel the complexities staged by the artist.
Ryan lives and works in Suffolk and London. He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL. The artist has been a Professor of Visual Art at the University of Huddersfield and holds an honorary Doctor of the Arts at the Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Suffolk. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to contemporary arts.
After meeting past judge Polly Brannan, Education Curator at Liverpool Biennial at the dot-art Schools exhibition 2016, Knotty Ash School were introduced to Ryan and subsequently five children from the school worked with the artist to create art work for the 2018 Biennial. See: the Biennial website for more information.
Sandra Penketh has responsibility for National Museums Liverpool's fine and decorative art collections and venue management responsibility for the Walker Art Gallery, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House and the Oratory. Sandra studied History of Art at the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia and then obtained a Masters Degree in Medieval Studies from the University of Liverpool.
In 1989 she joined the staff of National Museums Liverpool as an assistant curator at the Walker Art Gallery before moving on to work in the Art Galleries Education department. From 1998 until 2002, Sandra worked on the development of new display galleries at World Museum, part of the £45 million capital project Into the Future. Sandra also taught History of Art regularly for the University of Liverpool Centre for Continuing Education from 1991 until 2002. Between 2003 and 2012 she was Head of the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Sandra specialises in Medieval and Victorian Art and has published on Medieval Books of Hours, British nineteenth-century sculpture and painting, and the Fine Art collections of the Walker Art Gallery and Lady Lever Art Gallery. She has curated a wide range of exhibitions on Victorian art.
Caroline took up the post of Director of the School of Art & Design at Liverpool John Moores University in October 2014. She has a background in art and science and her research and creative work sits at the forefront of art-science fusion and includes subjects as diverse as forensic art, human anatomy, medical art, face recognition, forensic science, anthropology, 3D visualisation, digital art and craniofacial identification.
Caroline is a graduate of the University of Manchester, where she also led the Unit of Art in Medicine 2000-2005 and received a NESTA fellowship to develop a 3D computerised facial reconstruction system for use in forensic and archaeological depiction. She moved to LJMU from the University of Dundee, where she was Head of Human Identification in the award-winning Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification. Her high profile facial depiction work includes facial depictions of Richard III, St Nicolas, J.S. Bach, Rameses II and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Caroline Wilkinson is Director of the Face Lab, a LJMU research group based in Liverpool Science Park. The Face Lab carries out forensic/archaeological research and consultancy work and this includes craniofacial analysis, facial depiction and forensic art. Craniofacial analysis involves the depiction and identification of unknown bodies for forensic investigation or historical figures for archaeological interpretation. This may involve post-mortem depiction, facial reconstruction, craniofacial superimposition and skull reassembly. Forensic art also involves witness interviews to produce facial sketches/composites, age progression images and facial image comparison.
Caroline has a high profile in public engagement relating to art and science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received the 2013 RSE Senior Award for Public Engagement. She also delivered the 2013 RSE Christmas Lecture. Her work is exhibited in museums around the world and she has appeared on TV and radio as an expert in relation to facial depiction and historical interpretation. Previous appearances include; Meet the Ancestors (BBC), History Cold Case (BBC), Secrets of the Dead (C4), Mummies Unwrapped (Discovery) and (R4).
Susan is a past president, member of council and member of the professional development board of NSEAD, is secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft and Design Education and an Associate of The Big Draw.
She says: “I am totally absorbed in the world of art craft and design education, as artist, teacher, adviser, and critical friend and as part of NSEAD. Nationally (and beyond) I am a campaigner and advocate for the subject. I strongly believe that every child has an entitlement to a high quality visual art education and will do all that I can to remind people of that. I agreed to be a judge for this because it is a chance to showcase and to celebrate all the wonderful work being done in schools by teachers and young people. I can't wait to see the art work.”