Who we are

The Island Collection does not yet have any paid staff. The board of trustees are volunteers who represent many and varied organisations and interests, chaired by Simon Harrison who is independent of any art & culture commercial interest. We meet monthly to agree strategy, to monitor projects and expenditure. Once the pandemic is under control we fully intend to hold events and open meetings for Island based arts & culture stakeholders to attend. 

Simon Harrison (Chair) 

I live in Bonchurch and work as strategy director for an employee owned global professional services firm working in the built environment and international development.

I have previous trustee experience of a large engineering charity and am treasurer of St Boniface Parochial Church Council. I’ve had the good fortune to chair numerous boards involving a mix of employed staff and volunteers and have recently chaired an independent panel exploring the future of the engineering underpinning the British electricity industry on behalf of the government. 

My passion for arts, culture and heritage manifests itself primarily in music, where I performs as a singer, pianist and harpsichordist, in the restoration of our Bonchurch house and garden, in Island art and architecture, and in interests in classic cars, boats and railway heritage. 

Chris Slann

I have spent over 30 years working in mainstream carnival and community arts development, 21 of these within a local authority context. Whilst working for Luton Borough Council from 1989-2002, I, alongside my colleague and partner Frankie Goldspink, established Luton International Carnival as ‘Britain’s Biggest one-day Carnival’ and, as a consequence, set up the UK Centre for Carnival Arts.

Since moving to the Isle of Wight in 2002 I have worked within the local authority as Principal Arts Development Officer, Arts Lead for the Adult & Community Learning Service and Development Manager at the Carnival Learning Centre before becoming Executive Director of the New Carnival Company in 2012.

Within my work for the New Carnival Company I have responsibility for implementing strategy and vision of the organisation, developing partnerships, international relations, fundraising and organisational development.

Jacqui Cusack

For many years I worked in the arts in London theatres (Young Vic, Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Royal Shakespeare Company), in PR, Marketing and Education, with a spell backstage in Wardrobe!  I then moved sideways into the Design world, working in Finance and Project Management. On moving to Ryde in 1996, I began a 20+ year relationship with Quay Arts, during which time I established a participatory workshop programme at Jubilee Stores, fundraised for and managed multiple projects, engaging with schools at every possible opportunity.

The common thread running through my working life is a passionate belief in the transformative power of the arts in children’s and young people’s lives and the communities in which they live. As one of the founders of the Island’s Cultural Education Partnership and The Island Collection, this remains a strong motivating factor.                                                                                                   

Rodney Ireland

I spent most of my career in Further and Higher education and held several senior management posts. I then worked for the NHS on the Island. I have served on the boards of a number of charities both in London and Isle of Wight. I am a trustee of the Classic Boat Museum, serve on the Isle of Wight Museums Forum and was a founder member of The Island Collection. While working at St Mary’s Hospital, I was chair of Healing Arts

My interest in heritage and art history, really began while working overseas, when I travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 I believe we need a wider interpretation and integration of art, culture, heritage and the environment to ensure the future health and wellbeing of the community.

Lisa Gagliani MBE

I am chief executive for Independent Arts, an Island based arts-for-wellbeing charity which uses the medium of the arts and freelance arts practitioners, to support the most isolated and vulnerable of all ages. I also run my own business as an advisor for social good, providing strategic consulting to charities and social enterprises.

Most of my career has been spent in marketing with an emphasis on health, enterprise and education. After a decade as CEO of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, my first charity leadership role was Bright Ideas Trust for which I was honoured with an MBE for services to small businesses and young people. Nurturing and retaining talent, especially creative talent, is my driving force.

I am married to the artist Andrew Hird, we live in Ryde and share a passion for live music from opera to jazz.

Virgil Philpott

I have a BA in History from Reading University and have been manager of Carisbrooke Castle Museum since 2014 – prior to which I spent ten years managing the Isle of Wights’s largest legal firm. 

Before this I spent ten years in arts administration and management: in Yorkshire, Staffordshire and on the Isle of Wight as Director of the Quay Arts Centre (1999 -2003).  

I am also a founder Director of Venture South, The Isle of Wight Cultural Investment Company.

I enjoy cricket and have a 35-year-plus fascination for traditional music – which currently finds expression at as a singer / musician in The Dollymopps.

Ian Boyd

I was born in Birmingham in 1965, a cheerfully swotty kid who kept beetles and played football. I only ever wanted to be a nature reserve warden, and that’s exactly what I did, working for the RSPB and wildlife trusts for a decade, living in mountain cottages and wooden sheds, driving terrible old tractors, and diving for water lilies. It was wonderful.

 I joined the Island’s Countryside Management Service in 1993 and for 25 years I have built projects and organizations to better understand the ways in which the human and natural worlds can combine for mutual benefit, bringing together social, cultural and ecological policy and practice. 

The award of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status to the Isle of Wight in 2019 has been the culmination of that purpose and putting it into action is the work I now do.

Ian Boyd, Director Artecology

Corina Westwood

I have worked as a museum curator for the past 17 years – looking after the sites and collections of the Isle of Wight Heritage Service.

I qualified as a primary school teacher from Southampton University in 2002 and enjoy making history alive and relevant for all ages. I am the Vice Chair of the Hampshire-Solent, Berkshire Museum Development Panel which guides the work of the regional Development Service. 

My first degree was in Countryside Management and I am excited that the Isle of Wight is now a Biosphere Reserve. I look forward to working with partners to ensure a sustainable cultural future for this very special Island. 

I am an enthusiastic, although not always successful gardener and I greatly enjoy exploring the network of footpaths and bridleways across the Island.

Jack Whitewood

As the Co-Director of Ventnor Exchange, I’m passionate about helping to build a sustainable creative economy on the Isle of Wight that provides real opportunities and nurtures emerging talent. Alongside our Church Street venue we also produce the Island’s largest arts festival, Ventnor Fringe, and manage the innovative new youth platform, Brave Island.

My background is as a Producer and theatre maker, having trained at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and within the Literary Department at Hampstead Theatre.

I have given talks on arts management and cultural regeneration to a variety of Universities from Manchester to Canterbury, and represented the UK at European Festival Association meetings and summits.  

Alongside my role at Ventnor Exchange I am a Trustee of the British Arts Festivals Association, New Carnival Company and The Island Collection. 

Simon Harrison (Chair)

I live in Bonchurch and work as strategy director for an employee owned global professional services firm working in the built environment and international development.

I have previous trustee experience of a large engineering charity and am treasurer of St Boniface Parochial Church Council. I’ve had the good fortune to chair numerous boards involving a mix of employed staff and volunteers and have recently chaired an independent panel exploring the future of the engineering underpinning the British electricity industry on behalf of the government. 

My passion for arts, culture and heritage manifests itself primarily in music, where I performs as a singer, pianist and harpsichordist, in the restoration of our Bonchurch house and garden, in Island art and architecture, and in interests in classic cars, boats and railway heritage. 

Chris Slann

I have spent over 30 years working in mainstream carnival and community arts development, 21 of these within a local authority context. Whilst working for Luton Borough Council from 1989-2002, I, alongside my colleague and partner Frankie Goldspink, established Luton International Carnival as ‘Britain’s Biggest one-day Carnival’ and, as a consequence, set up the UK Centre for Carnival Arts.

Since moving to the Isle of Wight in 2002 I have worked within the local authority as Principal Arts Development Officer, Arts Lead for the Adult & Community Learning Service and Development Manager at the Carnival Learning Centre before becoming Executive Director of the New Carnival Company in 2012.

Within my work for the New Carnival Company I have responsibility for implementing strategy and vision of the organisation, developing partnerships, international relations, fundraising and organisational development.

Jacqui Cusack

For many years I worked in the arts in London theatres (Young Vic, Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Royal Shakespeare Company), in PR, Marketing and Education, with a spell backstage in Wardrobe!  I then moved sideways into the Design world, working in Finance and Project Management. On moving to Ryde in 1996, I began a 20+ year relationship with Quay Arts, during which time I established a participatory workshop programme at Jubilee Stores, fundraised for and managed multiple projects, engaging with schools at every possible opportunity.

The common thread running through my working life is a passionate belief in the transformative power of the arts in children’s and young people’s lives and the communities in which they live. As one of the founders of the Island’s Cultural Education Partnership and The Island Collection, this remains a strong motivating factor.                                                                                                   

Rodney Ireland

I spent most of my career in Further and Higher education and held several senior management posts. I then worked for the NHS on the Island. I have served on the boards of a number of charities both in London and Isle of Wight. I am a trustee of the Classic Boat Museum, serve on the Isle of Wight Museums Forum and was a founder member of The Island Collection. While working at St Mary’s Hospital, I was chair of Healing Arts

My interest in heritage and art history, really began while working overseas, when I travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 I believe we need a wider interpretation and integration of art, culture, heritage and the environment to ensure the future health and wellbeing of the community.

Lisa Gagliani MBE

I am chief executive for Independent Arts, an Island based arts-for-wellbeing charity which uses the medium of the arts and freelance arts practitioners, to support the most isolated and vulnerable of all ages. I also run my own business as an advisor for social good, providing strategic consulting to charities and social enterprises.

Most of my career has been spent in marketing with an emphasis on health, enterprise and education. After a decade as CEO of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, my first charity leadership role was Bright Ideas Trust for which I was honoured with an MBE for services to small businesses and young people. Nurturing and retaining talent, especially creative talent, is my driving force.

I am married to the artist Andrew Hird, we live in Ryde and share a passion for live music from opera to jazz.

Virgil Philpott

I have a BA in History from Reading University and have been manager of Carisbrooke Castle Museum since 2014 – prior to which I spent ten years managing the Isle of Wight’s largest legal firm. 

Before this I spent ten years in arts administration and management: in Yorkshire, Staffordshire and on the Isle of Wight  as Director of the Quay Arts Centre (1999 -2003).  

I am also a founder Director of Venture South, The Isle of Wight Cultural Investment Company.

I enjoy cricket and have a 35-year-plus fascination for traditional music – which currently finds expression at as a singer / musician in The Dollymopps.

Ian Boyd

I was born in Birmingham in 1965, a cheerfully swotty kid who kept beetles and played football. I only ever wanted to be a nature reserve warden, and that’s exactly what I did, working for the RSPB and wildlife trusts for a decade, living in mountain cottages and wooden sheds, driving terrible old tractors, and diving for water lilies. It was wonderful.

 I joined the Island’s Countryside Management Service in 1993 and for 25 years I have built projects and organizations to better understand the ways in which the human and natural worlds can combine for mutual benefit, bringing together social, cultural and ecological policy and practice. 

The award of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status to the Isle of Wight in 2019 has been the culmination of that purpose and putting it into action is the work I now do.

Ian Boyd, Director Artecology

Corina Westwood

I have worked as a museum curator for the past 17 years – looking after the sites and collections of the Isle of Wight Heritage Service.

I qualified as a primary school teacher from Southampton University in 2002 and enjoy making history alive and relevant for all ages. I am the Vice Chair of the Hampshire-Solent, Berkshire Museum Development Panel which guides the work of the regional Development Service. 

My first degree was in Countryside Management and I am excited that the Isle of Wight is now a Biosphere Reserve. I look forward to working with partners to ensure a sustainable cultural future for this very special Island. 

I am an enthusiastic, although not always successful gardener and I greatly enjoy exploring the network of footpaths and bridleways across the Island.

Jack Whitewood

As the Co-Director of Ventnor Exchange, I’m passionate about helping to build a sustainable creative economy on the Isle of Wight that provides real opportunities and nurtures emerging talent. Alongside our Church Street venue we also produce the Island’s largest arts festival, Ventnor Fringe, and manage the innovative new youth platform, Brave Island.

My background is as a Producer and theatre maker, having trained at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and within the Literary Department at Hampstead Theatre.

I have given talks on arts management and cultural regeneration to a variety of Universities from Manchester to Canterbury, and represented the UK at European Festival Association meetings and summits.  

Alongside my role at Ventnor Exchange I am a Trustee of the British Arts Festivals Association, New Carnival Company and The Island Collection.