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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Jean-François Manicom

Jean-François Manicom is the Lead curator of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. Before coming to the UK, he worked as curator of the permanent collection of the Memorial ACTe in Guadeloupe, the French West Indies, which is the first memorial site dedicated to the history of slavery and to the expression of contemporary Caribbean Art in the Caribbean region. In 2015, he directed and curated the first Caribbean Festival of the Image that showcased the works of 41 contemporary artists from the Caribbean. With an expertise in photography, photographic archives and contemporary visual art, Jean-François has curated multiple exhibitions since 1998 that focused on the visual archives of slavery and its legacies in contemporary post-plantation societies, in France, in the Caribbean and in the UK. He is an internationally prized photographer and film director, whose work questions the universal enigmas of today's world in which multiple and fragmented pasts challenge our power to imagine new possible futures. In 2020 he was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

Dr Heather Sebire FSA MCIFA

Heather Sebire is currently a Senior Historic Property Curator for Stonehenge at English Heritage working with all the areas held in guardianship within the Stonehenge, Avebury and associated World Heritage sites. She is a currently Honorary Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London, of which she is a Fellow, as well as being a former Council member of the Prehistoric Society and the Royal Archaeological Institute. Formerly a State Archaeologist on Guernsey in the Channel Islands, she curated the archaeology collections at Guernsey Museum for over ten years, alongside directing rescue excavations, organising research excavations and managing the island’s maritime archaeology. Current personal research interests include the legibility and life history of monuments, particularly addressing how monuments are presented to the public. She has published widely on many aspects of archaeology and heritage management.

Helen Smailes

Helen Smailes has been Senior Curator of British Art, Scottish National Gallery since 1993, responsible for Scottish painting from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English painting, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British sculpture, and historic American painting. She was a Member of the national executive, Association of Art Historians 1994-7; Honorary Fellow, School of Arts, Culture and Environment, Edinburgh University, 2005-2014; advisory member of Edinburgh College of Art/Edinburgh University Collections Committee for the ECA centenary project on plaster casts. From 2015, she has been advisory associate of Glasgow University's AHRC-funded project on Allan Ramsay Senior. Her research specialisms include nineteenth-century British/Scottish figure and portrait sculpture, especially Thomas Campbell and William Brodie; early art education and plaster casts, and Italian-Scottish image-makers (figuristi).