Top image: from left to right: Susan Manson, Maddi Nicholson, Norman Wild, Rachel Capovila, Eve Mulholland and Stuart Bastik, 2018
Photo credit: Art Gene

The Art Gene team is comprised of a small core staff, a board of trustees and a wealth of associates and partner organisations. This page details our board and staff.

Stuart Bastik and Maddi Nicholson – Directors

Stuart and Maddi evolve the vision behind Art Gene’s artistic direction. They establish, develop, design and deliver new projects in collaboration with our associates. They create artworks, develop concept designs and new projects. They define our research remit, company aims and objectives and oversee all aspects of the companies work and report to our board of trustees.

They inspire, establish and maintain new partnerships and initiatives, assemble and manage our associates-teams in projects’ delivery and development. As part of wider independent panels they help to select artists and architects who apply through open submission to undertake our residencies or to exhibit at Art Gene.

Alongside their freelance role with Art Gene they continue to develop individual artistic practices and collaborate with each other as Nicholson Bastik.

Follow the links to view some of their work.



Norman WIld – Company Secretary

Norman currently works from Art Gene’s office two days a week. He is Art Gene’s Financial Manager, looks after our trustees, manages our projects finances, handles the contractual elements of tenancies, room hires and other aspects of our premises management and accounts.

Daryl Pugh – Studios and Gallery Assistant

Daryl began working with us part time as a volunteer and later undertook an employment training scheme with us. He assists in the maintenance of our studios and gallery, provides support to artists and others installing exhibitions, preparing spaces for events and assists with some of the practical elements in projects delivery.


Rachel Capovila – Art Gene and Coastal Team Project Manager

From and based in Barrow, Rachel has many years of experience in project management within the arts and community projects around Furness and beyond.  Rachel will be working across the Art Gene portfolio programme and new Coastal Communities projects.  Rachel is also an artist, maker and facilitator of collaborative creative media and film projects.

“I am looking forward to working with the company engaging the local communities and visiting artists with our outstanding natural heritage assets. I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience our wonderful area.  I have lived and travelled abroad a great deal, but I am forever inspired by my home town, the surrounding landscape and the people that live here ”

Rachel Capovila, 2018

Eve Mulholland – Coastal Team Landscape Engagement Coordinator

Eve will be collaborating with both Art Gene and the Coastal Communities Team to plan, develop and deliver engagement activities with the public.


“Being intrigued and beckoned by the great outdoors is a passion which stemmed from the landscapes of the area I grew up in, Barrow itself. As a true Barrovian, I have a good insight into Barrow’s community and I am excited by the great potential the area has to regenerate and develop. Having graduated with a degree in ecology and worked as an Assistant Ranger, I am devoted to the natural environment and engaging people with their heritage and landscapes. I am passionate about wildlife. I hope to develop a friends and volunteer group to work across designated sites to enrich ecological and community value, bring communities closer to nature and improve wellbeing.

I value the achievements of Art Gene and the Coastal Communities team and look forward to working collaboratively to help plan and deliver engagement activities with the public, test and inform for the development of projects and help continue this positive journey.”

Eve Mulholland, 2018

Susan Manson – Arts Project Development Manager

Susan will be managing a current £1million suite of projects across the Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness (starting 2018).

Susan has worked for many years in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales with a range of environmental and built heritage organisations; involved with project development, delivery and fundraising. She doesn’t know the Barrow area well, so is looking forward to getting to know it and the people by helping develop the fantastic range of projects and activities that Art Gene is planning over the next few years.


Ellie Chaney – Digital Marketer/Admin