About Us

Bridging Arts tackles difficult issues in society through art and art-related activities. We give people without a voice a platform and the chance to speak out.

Our projects, exhibitions, events and workshops bring people of different cultures, interests and backgrounds together to interact, create and learn. We commission work, stage and tour exhibitions, develop Education packs and offer workshops to engage audiences. Current projects include:

Heart of Conflict  explores the impact of the World War One in Cornwall. We’re working with enthusiastic volunteers and neighbourhood groups – like local WIs, Young Farmers’ Clubs, the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. The idea is to research and stage workshops, organise talks, write an Education Pack, create a social media platform and – finally – a travelling exhibition. The exhibition is now on display at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro.

I Packed This Myself works with migrant workers and local communities in Cornwall. The aim: to bring people and groups together to increase understanding and break down prejudice.

Stitch  looks at the links between pattern, place and heritage. We first worked on Islamic traditions of embroidery and pattern and developed sewing kits and created an Education Pack with the Royal School of Needlework. Click on the Stitch project pages to find out more.


Susan Roberts has worked in the voluntary sector for two decades  – for charities including Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Christian Aid and the Musicians Benevolent Fund before co-founding Bridging Arts in 2003. She was Director of Notre Dame Refugee Centre from 2010-14.


Kemal Ahson is founder and director of Lifeworld. He has project and research management experience at local, national and international levels.

Andrew Dobbie is a retired journalist, now working part time for the UN refugee agency UNHCR. Has worked in newspapers, radio and news agencies in the UK and abroad in a career spanning more than 40 years. He helped establish the AlertNet website for emergency relief organisations run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Louise Oddy was a company director and lawyer for more than 25 years. She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and in 2010 completed an Open University degree in humanities with art history as the main specialism.

Pontus Rosén is chief executive at the Association of Art Historians, a UK-based organisation for those with a professional interest in the history of art and visual culture. The AAH promotes art history as a subject in schools and universities and supports those working in art history-related industries. Pontus specialises in charity finance and governance and has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Cass Business School.

Zorica Nikolic-Parry is head of finance and facilities at the College of Optometrists, a membership organisation and an examining body for optometrists. She has worked in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Zorica is a  qualified ACCA accountant.

Bridging Arts was set up in 2003 by Susan Roberts and Julia Fairrie, who were both working for Christian Aid at the time. Julia has since left the charity sector to found the arts consultancy Fair and Co.