Festive Road is artist led and directed by:
Founder member and Director of Festive Road, Jessica is foremost a sculptor – a maker – but has been a practising performance artist for several years and has also produced many short artist films and one-off performances which feature her unique costume designs. Jessica also works as a freelance Producer and Artistic Director and has worked on many collaborative projects with musical directors, dramaturges, choreographers, performers and costume and prop makers nationally, to design and produce for outdoor theatre and carnival productions.
As a lead designer, maker and performer for Festive Road, Jessica co-directed and produced Brewing Up – a touring outdoor theatre show awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark. She also directed Fair Play – a touring street theatre show, the Jurassic Jockeys – a recent Festive Road production and she founded and runs the Extreme Ramblers Stilt Group.
Jessica has taken part in many Artist Residencies and has exhibited her work internationally. In 2007 she was selected for an Arts Council England International fellowship with Britto Arts Trust in Bangladesh, where she spent four months. She was a founding member of Westbury Arts Centre where she coordinated a biannual International Artist Symposium until 2004. Jessica was one of five national designers selected by UK Centre for Carnival Arts to create costumes for the Cultural Olympiad project Carnival Crossroads-Eastbound for which she designed 100 costumes and several large structures. Her new production, Darwina’s Random Selection has recently been selected for support by Escalator Outdoor Arts scheme.
Since 2012 Jessica has been the Artistic Director of MK Festival Fringe, for whom she curates an annual multi art form programme to animate Central Milton Keynes.
Founder member, Director and Events Manager of Festive Road, Simon now specialises in project managing large participatory events, celebrations and parades. He has been working in participatory arts for over 25 years and has worked in the Carnival sector since 2000 creating and designing giant puppets, processional sculptures, costumes, masks and mas bands for community projects. He has delivered projects on behalf of Festive Road for Welwyn & Hatfield Community Trust, Wellingborough Borough Council, Corby Borough Council and many others.
Simon has set up community bands Star Light Samba, MK Dhol and The Kettle Band, as well as collaborating with many musicians, including Ramon Fernandez of Maracatudo Mafua, Mat Fox of Kinetika Blocco and working with Emergency Exit Arts, The New Carnival Company and in 2007 he travelled to Beijing, China with Kinetika’s project, Imagination Our Nation. Since 2012, he has produced Walking with Giants for Milton Keynes, a large scale and hugely popular annual walking parade based on the medieval ‘Midsummer Watch’ traditions.
Simon has participated in many artist workshops and international projects and has travelled to Venice Carnival, Trinidad, Lithuania, Bangladesh and Brazil. He has been on the Carnival Network South committee since its formation in 2006. Simon has an ongoing interest in exploring the relationships between the traditions of European carnival and street theatre, and the colonial impact on the cultural development of indigenous South America, West Indies, Asia and African peoples, and how this can be made relevant to participants in the UK.
Founder member, Director and Treasurer of Festive Road, Paul has over 20 years experience working as an artist in educational environments and the wider community with children and staff ranging from nursery to college level, as well as with youth, family and special needs groups and community bodies on projects, events and festivals. Over this time, he has worked on the Creative Partnerships programme for UKCCA and Creative Junction, delivering many inspirational projects to schools across Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire. He has been a visting artist and held artist-in-residence positions in several schools in Luton, Milton Keynes and Northampton and has worked with MK Gallery, Autism Bedfordshire, MENCAP, Luton Libraries, Mercedes Benz, Connexions MK and many other organistions.
Paul’s degree is in Printmaking but his practice has developed over the years to incorporate a multi-disciplined approach. He works predominately 3-dimensionally; structures, sculpture, site specific, etc working in wood, willow, concrete and recycled materials, integrating painting and printmaking techniques; his experience is extensive.
Festive Road Administrator. Jitty has been with Festive Road since July 2014 and has the unenviable task of attempting to keep the Festive Road machine running smoothly.