My time in Margate in the 90’s was a tough one. Margate was a bleakly dying little town with few job prospects. I quite honestly couldn’t wait to leave, but, little did I know I would return to live here. I didn’t move too far, I missed the place as the sea and the town’s quirkiness had the knack of pulling me back. My passion through Art college was I really wanted art to be accessible to all. I felt a bit of an outcast at college, like I didn’t really have the right to be there and always challenged that art seemed to be just for the elite and the middle class. I started to gradually curate art exhibitions in obscure places, an off-licence, a garden centre, restaurants, a train station and a gym. I also took over empty retail spaces to use for pop up exhibitions. My inspiration was to bring art to as many people as possible So, time went on I had a family and things paused. Although at the back of my mind I had an idea of an art company that would fuse artists, workshops, community and places together in a collaboration of exchange. SquirrelARTS ltd was born and (SquirrelARTS Creative Cic) as we are now known by. The name… a funny story, my father whose English is very good but with a strong accent wanted to nick name me squirrel when I was a child. The reason, I hated eating meat and I would store it in my cheeks so when my parents were not looking, I could spit it out. He likened it to a squirrel storing nuts in their cheeks…. He still can’t pronounce squirrel, so I have the name Esquee to thank him for. Lucky Me! So, when I met my partner, he told me about how his dissertation at college was about the decline of the red squirrel! Voila:
BA (hons) degree Fine Art
A contemporary multi disciplined Artist, art curator and mother. Annabelle founded SquirrelARTS in 2017. Her role and key tagline for the company is ‘Art for All’ Annabelle has always been passionate that there should be inclusivity for every member of society. To be able to view, to make, to participate in art in its many guises. Annabelle thrives on bringing out the creative in people, she has an undeterred passion to help those willing to learn. With many years in Arts and the Education setting also working with children and young people with learning disabilites Annabelle brings a depth of knowledge and experience.
Artist/Workshop Mentor BA (hons) degree Fine Art
Zara Gabriel is a multifaceted artist who uses a multitude of mediums to create vibrant paintings and sculptures, drawing on her life as a disabled artist whilst raising children with disabilities. With her personal experience with disabled children as well as a BA (hons) first class in fine art and a diploma in childcare and education, Zara has has wealth of knowledge and understanding In working with children and is a great asset to the SquirrelArts team.
IT Integration delivery manager
Bsc(hons) enviromental studies
John has spent 24 year in service management and IT delivery. John late to life in pursuing art found that he has an incredible talent in making up cycled creatures from junk and stone carving. John is a great asset to SquirrelARTS in his knowledge of accounts and hands on DIY essential member of the SquirrelARTS team.
Darren is our most recent member to the team advising us how to use information and technology to meet our business needs and objectives as a Community Interest Company. He works behind the scenes to help structure the efficiency of IT systems in various ways. He is an essential member of the SquirrelARTS team.