Board of Trustees

Chair – Kathleen Soriano 

Kathleen Soriano began her career at the Royal Academy of Arts 30 years ago. In 1989 she joined the National Portrait Gallery as Head of Exhibitions & Collections, with additional responsibility for national and international programmes. In 2004 she became one of the first cohort of Clore Leadership Fellows taking up roles at the South Bank Centre and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. In February 2006 she became Director of Compton Verney, Warwickshire and in 2009 returned to the RA as Director of Exhibitions where she remained until 2014 when she left to work independently. She has written extensively in her field and her broadcast activities include the five series of Portrait/Landscape Artist of the Year for SkyArts.

Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press 

Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press is an artist who was born on the Wirral. She often works under the moniker of The Vanity Press, the imprint she established in 1997 with her seminal book The Nam. Her work centres on the problems and possibilities of language, both written and metaphorical. She has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at institutions including Tate Britain and IKON Gallery and her work is held in many public collections including Tate and MoMA.

Natasha Bintley

Natasha Bintley is a Liverpool born Chartered Accountant. Having completed a Master of Arts in Economics and Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, Natasha commenced an ACA training contract at DSG Chartered Accountants, where she was also Secretary of the Liverpool Students Chapter (LCASA). Following qualification in 2017, she moved to RSM UK, working in audit with technical specialisms in AIM Listed companies and the not-for-profit sector. 

May Calil 

May Calil has spent 10 years working in arts development and has held posts at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Tate before founding May Calil Consultants. May is Chair of the Young Patrons of the Royal Academy and Chair of Chisenhale’s Development Board. She is an avid collector of contemporary art and has strong relationships with young artists and galleries. May studied History of Art at Cambridge University (King’s College) and has a Masters in Islamic Art and Architecture from SOAS.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans is a London-based artist and tutor at De Ateliers, Amsterdam and Liverpool John Moores University. His work often evolves through conversation with people from diverse walks of life, selected in relation to their public life or symbolic role. He has exhibited internationally since 2000 with solo exhibitions at institutions such as Art Pace, San Antonio; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; Praxis, Berlin; and Project Arts, Dublin. In 2014, he was commissioned to make new work for A Needle Walks into a Haystack, the 8th Liverpool Biennial exhibition. 

Jonathan Falkingham

Jonathan Falkingham MBE is Creative Director and Co-Founder of award-winning property company UrbanSplash. Jonathan has been working in the North West since 1989, when he set up design practice shedkm. He founded Urban Splash in 1993 with Tom Bloxham and has lead big projects ranging from Fort Dunlop to his own award-winning house in Liverpool. Jonathan is committed to good architecture and is a Trustee of the RIBA. 

Paul Hyland

Paul is a Chartered Accountant and a partner in leading Liverpool accountants DSG. He is also a Governor at Liverpool John Moores University with a keen interest in the arts and Liverpool. His role on the Biennial board manages to combine both interests, as well as ensuring that the Biennial’s finances remain in very good order.

Ian McCarthy

Ian McCarthy is a town planner and chartered surveyor with a strong commitment to building viable, vibrant and inclusive places. During an extensive career, he has contributed to the economic regeneration of Manchester and Liverpool and more recently, established and delivered the UK's International Business Festival 2014–2018 as Festival Director. Ian is a Director of several not-for-profit organisations and his own consultancy.

Judith Nesbitt

Judith Nesbitt is Director of National & International Programmes at Tate. Formerly Chief Curator at Tate Britain (2001-2010), Judith began her career at Leeds City Art Gallery (1986-1991), joined Tate Liverpool as Exhibitions Curator (1991-1995) and was Director of Chisenhale Gallery (1995-1998). She was Head of Programming at Whitechapel Art Gallery (1998-2000) and Head of UK Content at eyestorm, the art media company (2000-2001). She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and is a member of the Advisory Panel for Art on the Underground.

Jon Sharples

Jon Sharples is an art and intellectual property lawyer, broadcaster and curator. Originally from the Wirral, Jon read law at the University of Cambridge and trained as a solicitor at leading international law firm Simmons & Simmons in London. Between 2013 and 2019, he was Chair of the Simmons & Simmons Art Network and was responsible for the firm's celebrated collection of contemporary art, displayed across offices in 15 countries. Jon is also on the Board of Trustees at Block 336, an artist-run project space and studio provider in Brixton.

John Shield

John Shield is an English qualified lawyer who founded the company Matters Creative (advisory services for the arts) in 2013. John is also part of GunnercookeLLP, a large law firm specialising in real estate, general corporate and commercial with a client base in fashion, food and art. He has worked with many art organisations, including board membership of Hermitage Foundation UK, and has advised on many transactions in the UK and internationally in relation to commissions, exhibitions and other art events.

Anna Valle

Anna Valle is a global business leader with extensive marketing experience, working in the FMCG industry on local, regional and global roles. She has solid experience both in emerging and developed markets across the world. Anna’s latest role is VP, Global Brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance, acting as Liz Earle Global Brand Director. She has a successful track record of managing iconic consumer brands like Durex, Cow and Gate, ghd and Johnnie Walker.

Tony Wilson

Tony qualified as a solicitor in 1977, became a partner in 1982, and was Hill Dickinson Managing Partner from 1994 to 1998. He was Senior Partner and Chairman of Hill Dickinson LLP from 2001 before stepping down in 2011. As a senior figure in the North West business community, Tony is a member of the Northwest Business Leadership Team and also held the position of Company Secretary to the Board of the Liverpool Capital of Culture Company. He was a Non-Executive Director of Liverpool Vision. In 2015 Tony became Chairman of the Liverpool Improvement Business District Board.