Artist Facilitators

Our facilitators are artists with their own individual practices and a background working with people who have learning disabilities.

They are a passionate team who work closely with AIM’s artists to support, mentor and empower them by helping to develop their skills,

identify opportunities to showcase their work and bring out the best in their creative expression.

Colin Higginson

Director & Lead Artist

Colin Higginson has been a practicing artist for over twenty-five years. He is a qualified art therapist and teacher having worked in both the health service and education. He worked in the NHS for 18 years where he was clinical lead and manager for the art and drama therapy services for people with learning disabilities in Bristol and the surrounding area. He went on to work in further education teaching art and animation to students with disabilities.

His current work is divided between his ongoing studio practice; a collaborative art practice (Jefferies and Higginson); directing Art in Motion (AIM) and working as a coach for other artists.

He works from his studio at Spike Island Artspace and is an Associate Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE).

Helen Grant

Freelance Artist

Helen Grant is an artist based at Spike Island Studios in Bristol. She makes sculptures that reflect her interest in absurdity and ‘the ridiculous nature of being’. Last year her work was selected for both the Creekside and Motorcade/Flashparade National open competitions and she regularly shows work in Bristol and beyond.

With a background in mental health nursing, Helen feels her interest in the psychological now pervades her art practice. She is currently completing an MA in Fine Art at the University of the West of England.

Maisie Fortune

Freelance Artist & Ceramist

Maisie Fortune has spent her professional life working in schools, FE Colleges and community-based projects; first as a support worker and then undertaking teacher training in 2013 before gaining qualified teacher status (QTLS) in 2016. Throughout this time she has maintained a focus on the needs of vulnerable adults and children, drawing on her BA degree in Fine Art to facilitate the learning process. Maisie is motivated by the opportunity to help students develop their individual skills as artists, whilst at the same time helping them to develop their independence and life skills.

Currently, she is using her skills as a working potter (PotterMoo Studios ) to support adults with learning difficulties in a functioning local pottery. She has also been a long term volunteer with AIM where she has benefited greatly from working closely with the artists, helping them to develop their individual styles and finding ways for them to expand creatively.

Dr Amy Spencer

Freelance Writer

At Bath Spa, Dr Amy Spencer is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries at Bath Sapa University. Previously, she worked at UWE Bristol as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the two-year Ambient Literature project, a collaboration between UWE Bristol, the University of Birmingham and Bath Spa University. Her research interests include digital writing, ambient literature, collaborative authorship and do-it-yourself cultural production. Amy is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and is the author of DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture.

Amy is founder of The Writery where she has developed creative writing projects for underrepresented groups, including Bristol Biennial. She has particular expertise in project management and developing an inclusive approach to supporting participation in writing projects.