The recipient of the Clore Fellowship, Visual Arts Fellowship, supported by a-n The Artists Information Company, has been announced as artist, curator, consultant and educator Polly Brannan.

The fellowship is a bespoke professional development opportunity that works to develop leaders from across a wide range of cultural disciplines and sectors. Brannan is one of 21 creative and dynamic Fellows who will embark on the Clore Fellowship this spring.

Known for her engagement and curatorial work in galleries across the UK, including Liverpool Biennial (2012-18) and Serpentine Galleries (2011–13), Brannan has recently been appointed as Artistic Director of Open school East, a free, independent arts school and community space in Margate. She is also Founder, Co-Director and artist with network Avant Gardening.

Brannan shares her enthusiasm at being awarded the Clore Fellowship, saying: “I’m excited to get started and feel honoured that my work as an artist and curator in the sector is recognised. I will value and flourish working with Clore, learning and developing my thinking with multi-disciplinary, talented peers.”

“It will allow me to develop and further my research around artist and community led commissioning strategies for the places we live in. Clore can help me enable real change, giving me a framework to explore and test these strategies with peers and experts across sectors. This opportunity has already helped with my vision, voice and approach in response to the pandemic and the role of artists as part of the cultural sectors journey in the healing and recovery post covid.”

The fellowship has come at an important time in Brannan’s career, who says she will “utilise this opportunity with Clore in the transition of my new role as Artistic Director at Open School East, supporting me to bring my experiences and knowledge as an artist into a leadership role and support future artists and young people to rise as leaders.”

Chosen for their leadership ambitions and potential, creativity and vision, the 2021 cohort of fellows includes artists, curators, producers, directors and educators. Collectively they cover eight different cultural disciplines, from solo practitioners to those in 200+ people organisations, and are based in eight regions across the UK.

The 2021 fellows are: Lindsey Alvis, Linda Bloomfield, Dominique Bouchard, Polly Brannan, Amanda Chinneck, Pooja Ghai, Laura Greenfield, Adem Holness, Joanna Killeya, Cathy Mager, Bryony McIntyre, Amanda Parker, Joe Roberts, Sarah Robertson, Phil Sanger, Angelica Sule, Jonathan Watkins, Cecilia Wee, Kate Whitley, Robyn Winfield-Smith and Jen Wong.

Moira Sinclair, Chair of Clore Leadership, said: “Leadership in our sector has been tested this year in ways that no one could have foreseen. What we know is that as we start to emerge from lockdown, reset and rebuild we will need leaders with vision that are ambitious and able to see the way forward, inspiring those around them to work together with funders, policy makers and communities to create great art for society. I’m delighted to welcome this cohort to what will be a unique Fellowship.”

Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, added: “Cultural organisations around the world have faced unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic, but have continued to adapt and respond in innovative ways to provide valuable experiences for people to enjoy. Creative leadership will be vital as we look towards a future where cultural organisations are able to reopen. We’re delighted to be supporting this year’s cohort of Clore fellows which represents a very wide range of talent from across the sector.”


For more information on the 2021 Clore Fellowship visit:

1. Brent Biennial 2020, Avant Gardening Photo: Roy Mehta
2. Mobile Variety Club, Polly Brannan,  Serpentine Galleries Photo: Anton Kats
3. Dogsy Mabone, 2018 Monster Chetwynd, Liverpool Biennial Photo: Pete Carr