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Meet the Team

At the heart of Goldfinch Create and Play is our inspiring team of creatives.

We have a diverse range of artistic skills, backgrounds, and life experiences, but we share a passion for inspiring kids and grownups through art, craft, and nature.

Nicole Strong

Goldfinch owner, preschool, afterschool art clubs and art parties

Experience:

Nicole was an Urban Designer and Landscape Architect who spent six years designing community facilities and outdoor play areas for children in Cape Town’s most underserved areas. After relocating with her family to Bristol, Nicole repurposed her skills and passion for people and founded Goldfinch Create and Play.

Creative streak:

Nicole (and her two girls) are the creative masterminds behind many of the Goldfinch activities. From watercolour paper cranes to cardboard homes for badgers, Nicole has the power to fire up anyone’s imagination.

Loves:

Connecting people through play and nature.

Louise Taylor

Preschool, afterschool art clubs and art parties

Experience:

Louise has taught in early years mainstream education, Montessori kindergartens, forest schools, and more recently in community and healthcare settings. These days she feels most at home as a creative facilitator in the education and community arts space.

Creative streak:

An approach to creativity that supports imagination, curiosity, inclusivity, and play.

Loves:

Using art to build creative confidence and inspire artists, young and old.

Kate Boyes

Preschool art

Experience:

Kate worked as an early years teacher for over 30 years and has vast experience shaping the learning paths of young people across Bristol. She is passionate about working inclusively with SEND children and is a strong believer in supporting families to achieve the best possible outcomes for children.

Creative streak:

Using natural resources to inspire expressive arts and design, mixed media, and music.

Loves:

Helping children foster curiosity and develop problem-solving and language skills through art and experiential play.

Georgie Mountjoy

Preschool art

Experience:

Georgie worked as a primary school teacher and leader for over 18 years. She has written for The Times Educational Supplement and BS9 Magazine. Georgie has led numerous art, craft, and nature clubs for children, each based on using, enjoying, and sustaining the environment.

Creative streak:

Writing, teaching, and inspiring awe, wonder and imagination in children.

Loves:

Meeting new people and being creative through any means possible!

Experience:

Chrissie trained in Power Yoga at The Power Yoga Company in London, where she had in-depth training in teaching techniques, the history of yoga and philosophy.

Creative streak:

Weaving philosophical themes into yoga classes in a way that people of all ages and abilities can relate to.

Loves:

Sharing the power of yoga and seeing it benefit the well-being of anyone who gives it a try.

Goldfinch Bird

Creative Partners

Experience:

Karen and Alice are Creative Directors of the independent arts organisation, LET’S MAKE ART. They provide art provision for schools and communities across Bristol as well as at events and festivals. They are artists in residence at the Arnolfini, Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts.

Creative streak:

Thinking up unique, modern, and sometimes cheeky ways for children and grownups to express their creativity.

Loves:

Experimenting with different materials and techniques to help children have fun and make meaningful connections with art.

Chandos Atelier

Experience:

Emma has been making props and costumes for over 20 years and now runs ‘Creative Maker’ sessions from her workshop on Chandos Road. Emma’s classes are unprescribed, playful, and somewhere children and adults are free to create in their own way.

Creative streak:

From glue gun experiments, weaving with unusual materials or using plasticine in new ways, Emma’s creative ideas are unique, fun, and inspiring.

Loves:

Helping children freely explore, play, and invent—the perfect antidote to school!

Goldfinch Bird

Adult Art Classes

Rebecca Finnerty

Clay

Experience:

Rebecca is an Irish ceramicist who is inspired by themes of nature, folklore, tradition and the connection between land and people.

Creative streak:

Working with clay to bring everyday rituals and materials to life.

Loves:

Inspiring others to use clay to explore texture, culture, and nature.

Experience:

Sarah is a paper artist and illustrator. Sarah has worked with a range of clients including BBC Four, Tatler, and The Guardian. She has also illustrated and authored a selection of books, including Papercut Woodland and Paper Plants.

Creative streak:

Combining traditional paper-cutting techniques, collage, and digital art.

Loves:

Sharing the joys of paper craft to help people focus their minds and find a sense of serenity.

Jenny Sweetnam

Experience:

Jenny is an esteemed artist who creates jewellery defined by its bold style. Her work has been featured in leading publications including Dazed, Elle, Dansk, the Guardian, The Times, Vogue and The Financial Times.

Creative streak:

In 2018, Jenny won the prestigious Wallpaper Design Award!

Loves:

Inspiring others to create modern jewellery pieces.

Alice Dunn Ribeiro

Experience:

Alice is a Portuguese/British artist based in Bristol. A love for music has taken her practice out of the studio and into venues around Bristol.

Creative streak:

Her work is inspired by fleeting moments, moving between drawing, painting and animation. Having developed a passion for life drawing, due to the way it unveils the beauty in every unique body, she captures poses with fast, instinctive movements.

Loves:

Pending many evenings watching and drawing musicians and performers, she allows the shapes and sounds to flow onto paper in the ever-changing environment.

Sophie Rae

Experience:

Sophie Rae is a mural painter and printmaker who specialises in colourful, abstract designs. She has painted murals in gardens, cafes, bars, restaurants, offices, schools, shops, and high streets, and taught workshops across Bristol.

Creative streak:

Transforming spaces into welcoming, inspiring environments with her bold murals.

Loves:

Uplifting people of all ages and abilities by engaging them in fun, relaxed printmaking experiences.

Goldfinch would not have taken flight without the ideas and experience of our team.

Be inspired.

Goldfinch Icon Bird G

“My girls have absolutely loved all of their classes."

Beth, Parent of 3, 7 & 9 year olds