Cultural Skills Series 

training for artists, curators and cultural sector professionals


An exciting opportunity to attend in-depth career development workshops with experienced UK professionals. Over three modules, consisting each of a 4-5-day workshop we will cover a wide range of skills and information designed to equip artists to develop their career and pursue their practice as a vocation.

Alternating between facilitator presentations, professional reflection and experience; personal development activities for participants; and group discussion; the workshops include knowledge and practical information but also ingrain self-reflection, community support, artistic criticality, feedback and personal confidence strategies into their structure. 

The workshops will be particularly valuable for early and mid-career artists and aim to support the Bahraini arts community both at home and internationally. While each workshop will build on the last, it is possible to join one, two or all three workshops. 

The lead facilitator for the three workshops is London-based curator and researcher Rose Lejeune. Rose developed and delivered the successful British Council workshop Art Passports in February 2019, from which this new series develops. Rose is joined by writer Ellen Mara De Wachter and PR consultant Nicola Jeffs for the first workshop.

This program is delivered as part of the Gulf Culture & Sport Program, which aims to develop mutual understanding and respect through sharing and appreciating Gulf and UK culture, history and heritage, and by developing long-term arts and education relationships between institutions.

Programme content:

The modules focus on the following elements:

Module 1: Art writing, Interpretation and Criticism in writing and discussion

Sunday, 27 October - Thursday, 31 October 2019

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

This first week’s session focuses on communication both through writing and discussion.  Through the week participants will be encouraged both to develop their articulation of their own practice, look into broader art writing styles including press and interpretation, and given practical skills on how to give and also receive art critique. The week aims to enable participants to clearly articulate their practice across a range of mediums.

Module 2. Developing your Career through Representation, Residences and Public Opportunities - Local, Regional and International

Sunday, 2 February - Thursday, 6 February 2020 

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

This week’s session will explore what opportunities exist for artists - including in the Public Sector, applying for international artists residencies, international travel grants and public collections and commissions and the art market. The week aims to give participants clear signposts to existing resources and information, confidence in creating applications, as well as an understanding of how to use them for career development.

Module 3. Building a Career through the Creative Industries, Self-Organisation and Curating.

Sunday, 1 March - Thursday, 5 March 2020 

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

This week’s session focuses on developing a career through self-organisation and understanding the opportunities for artists and create practitioners beyond the visual arts scenes, in other industries and curatorial practice. The week aims to give participants the tools to understand how to build a career beyond making art work.




To register for this course, please fill in the application form at the bottom of this page, and send it to CC: 

Please follow the deadline for application submission for each module.

Module 1: Art writing, Interpretation and Criticism in writing and discussion

Sunday 27th October - Thursday 31st October 2019

Deadline to submit applications 20 October 2019

Successful participants informed on 22-23 October 2019

Registration fee: BD 5 to be paid at British Council Bahrain by 26 October 2019


Module 2. Developing your Career through Representation, Residences and Public Opportunities - Local, Regional and International

Sunday 2nd February - Thursday 6th February 2020 

Deadline to submit applications 15 January 2020

Successful participants informed 22 January 2020

Registration fee: BD 5 to be paid at British Council Bahrain by 1 February 2020


Module 3. Building a Career through the Creative Industries, Self-Organisation and Curating.

Sunday 1st March - Thursday 5th March 2020 

Deadline to submit applications 15 February 2020

Successful participants informed 17 February 2020

Registration fee: BD 5 to be paid at British Council Bahrain by 29 February 2020

About Rose Lejeune - Course Leader and Curator

Rose’s current work explores collecting contemporary art with a specific interest in digital, social and performative practices in the international art world. In addition to regular writing and public speaking on these topics, her current and recent projects include; a year-long series of new acquisitions commissions at the Victoria Museum and Gallery, Liverpool; consultancy for the University of Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum, and with the Contemporary Art Society, along with work with private collectors. Rose is currently a PhD candidate in Curating at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where her research focuses on curatorial frameworks for performance art in, and out, of the art market.

Rose is also the Associate Curator for the Delfina Foundation’s Collecting as Practice programme. A research and residency project, the programme has included significant interaction with both global private collectors and public museum collections including the devising of public programmes and artists residencies. 

Rose’s current curatorial activities have developed following a decade of extensive experience working with public organisations throughout the UK and in particular working closely with artists to commission for non-gallery situations. This includes as Curator at Art on the Underground, and Education Projects Curator at Serpentine Gallery.


Module 1 Facilitators

Ellen Mara De Wachter

Ellen Mara De Wachter is a writer based in London. She is a contributor to Frieze, Art Quarterly, Art Monthly, World of Interiors and The White Review, and her writing has featured in a range of other publications. Her 2017 book ‘Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration’ (Phaidon) explores the phenomenon of collaboration in the visual arts and its potential in society at large.

Ellen is Associate Lecturer on BA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and she has taught at art colleges across the UK.

In 2013-15 she was Curator of Public Collection Development at the Contemporary Art Society and she has worked at various arts organisations in London, including the Barbican Art Gallery and the British Museum. Ellen mentors artists and writers through various publicly funded creative development schemes.

Nicola Jeffs

A senior Public Relations consultant, Nicola has worked in commercial art galleries, museums, festivals, at biennials, in agencies and in-house, developing global publicity and communications campaigns for over 12 years. 

She has worked in-house, including leading the Communications teams at White Cube, Hayward Gallery, Towner Eastbourne and Brighton Festival. She has also worked as a publicist for the National Gallery, London 2012, Arts Council England and in an agency in Berlin looking after Gallery Weekend, art Berlin contemporary and other visual culture projects. 

Nicola's clients as a consultant are global and span a range of visual art, performance and photography. Recent projects include advising on UK media relations for Sydney Festival, Australia and the PR campaign for Norway’s Lofoten International Arts Festival. Clients include Block Universe, E-WERK Berlin, Forma, Collective, David Roberts Art Foundation, HOUSE Biennial, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Wysing Arts Centre, Edinburgh Print Makers and Fabrica. Nicola also has a wealth of digital and brand experience, most recently launching and rebranding three major institutions: Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Towner Eastbourne and Photoworks. 


Module 2 Facilitators

Mary Cork

With over 12 years’ experience in both not-for-profit and commercial contemporary art,Mary's previous work has included curating, managing projects, and devising support for arts organisations such as Block Universe, Whitstable Biennale, Open School East, Auto Italia and Studio Voltaire. Since 2010, she has been a visiting lecturer in Curating and Fine Art for several arts universities, devising workshops and lectures in art world strategies, professional development and curating. Mary holds an MFA in curating from Goldsmiths, University of London. Mary has been a member of Wysing Arts Centre’s Senior Management Team since December 2018. Prior to that she was Director at Pilar Corrias Gallery (2016–18) and The Approach (2011–16). In early 2020, she will launch ZELDA,  a new kind of arts advisory service with curator Kate Phillimore, and is curating a programme of exhibitions, site responsive commissions and events with artist Laura Eldret and the artist-led project, More Than Ponies (MTP), taking place across multiple sites in the New Forest in 2020/21.


Dani Burrows

A freelance arts manager with 14 years experience. From researching to writing, curating to producing as well as developing and delivering organisational strategy, Dani has collaborated on a variety of projects in the UK, Europe, Middle East and USA. Currently she is working with organisations and artists including Delfina Foundation, Active Cultures, Cooking Sections, Campo Adentro, and May Calil Consultancy. 

Recent projects include; Politics of Food residency and public programme at Delfina Foundation in London (2014-2019) and the subsequent publication of the same name, and Climavore - On Tidal Zones in Skye (2015- present day). Dani has held positions including Director of Strategy at Delfina Foundation, where she deputised the running of the organisation from 2013-2017; Project Manager at Tate  from 2007-2012, where she worked in the development team on capital projects, programme and exhibition fundraising, acquisition committees and finally running the young patrons programme, and as Junior Specialist at Bonhams Auctioneers (2005-2007). Dani has sat on various advisory committees including currently with PRAXSIS, Oslo.

Module 3 Facilitators

Amal Khalaf


A curator and artist and currently Director of Programmes at Cubitt Gallery, London and Projects Curator at the Serpentine Galleries, London.  Here and in other contexts she has commissioned and developed residencies, exhibitions, workshops and collaborative research projects that address the role of art operating within pedagogy and social urgencies. She is also the Consortium Commissions Curator for Mophradat and has been running the political theatre collective Implicated Theatre since 2011. She is a founding member of artist collective GCC, as well as a trustee for not/ and on the artistic committee for Arts Catalyst.  In 2016 she co-directed the 10th edition of the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai. Amal's work has been presented at Goldsmiths College, London; Venice Biennale 2019; MoMA PS1, NY; New Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Musee D'Art Moderne, Paris;The Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Serralves, Porto;  amongst others in educational and cultural contexts.

About the Gulf Culture and Sports programme

The Gulf Culture and Sports programme aims to develop mutual understanding and respect through sharing and appreciating Gulf and UK culture, history and heritage, and by developing long-term arts and education relationships between institutions.

The programme will create opportunities for the next generation in the Gulf, young people from 14 – 30 years-old. Such opportunities foster the development of projects that will enable the local creative sector to flourish, empower cultural initiatives and find innovative and sustainable ways to guarantee a consistent and tangible legacy of the cultural field in the region. 

One of the main goals of the programme is to support and inform the creation of activities focused on the improvement of soft and technical skills for the cultural sector in the Gulf. We will collaborate with local partners, providing knowledge exchange opportunities to support a programme of capacity building which addresses local issues and links the cultural resources and expertise of the UK with local arts organisations, government departments for culture, festivals, universities, and creative businesses. 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body

The British Council employs over 10,500 staff worldwide. It has its headquarters in the UK, with offices in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Further information can be viewed at