Meet the Team

The Island has a small core staff team and is one of the projects of Artspace Lifespace, a registered Charity. Over 150 artists are studio holders and another 200 artists from all disciplines are affiliated with The Island through their studios and use of our creative spaces. The Island Venue which is run by our trading subsidiary Artspace Lifespace enterprises ltd is managed by an all-female team.

Our Team

Members of our team have built up extensive knowledge and experience from the various projects we have undertaken and can readily act as catalysts for new ventures and collaborations. Our first priority is establishing financial sustainability for the venues we run and then increasing resources in line with activity.

Our Board

We are very lucky to have an inspirational and committed board who help make great things happen at Artspace Lifespace.

Our small core staff is supported by a board of Trustees. Over 300 artists are affiliated with The Artspace Lifespace Project through their studios and creative businesses.


Doug Francis


A founding member of the organisation, and a passionate proponent of the Arts and its transformative effect on people and communities.

Doug has been a strong voice in temporary use projects, assisting groups all over the country to start up their own community centres from buildings long forgotten and discarded. His own artistic practices as a performer, and as a director and ringmaster of The Invisible Circus, keep him an active part of Bristol’s creative community.


Wim Penhaul


Wim Penhaul is a co founder of Artspace Lifespace in its Bristol incarnation and passionate about the creative re-invention of under used commercial and industrial properties into thriving community resources.

As a Co Director with Invisible Circus he has been instrumental in the development of such projects in Bristol and beyond.


Kara de Los Reyes


Kara is a practicing architect, lecturer, and advocate for regenerative design and culture. Beyond her work with ASLS she helps to run TEDxBristol and is also a keen allotmenteer.

Her international work includes being a Trustee of Land is Life, an organisation that focuses on representing the voice of Indigenous People globally. Kara also supports community initiatives in her home country, the Philippines. She is driven in all that she does to help create a happier, healthier, and more resilient world for future generations to enjoy.

Anthony Elliott

Anthony Elliot


Anthony is a project manager for energy, innovation and digital design. He joined Artspace Lifespace in 2019 and enjoys working on new ideas, strategic thinking, and making things inclusive for all parts of society. He keeps creative with photography and has taken part in arts projects across Bristol.

Clarissa Jeakings stands in front of a lake, smiling at the camera. She is wearing a grey shirt, a black blazer and a floral silk scarf.

Clarissa Jeakings


A Chartered Accountant (ACA) with a background in audit and valuations / investment monitoring within a wide range of industries. Her main role outside ASLS is now focused on the valuations of illiquid equity and debt asset investments, with prior experience at the Big 4.

Abena Poku

Abena Poku


Abena brings with her a wealth of experience from various job roles, such as event planning, fundraising, teaching, business support, arts administration, and retail sales. She is currently the Operations Manager at Meriton Foundry. Previous experience also includes working as a Gallery Manager and she was responsible for organising and marketing viewings of Ousmane Sembène’s documentary in Accra including liaising with venue owners and publicising the events to the local community to create awareness and spread visibility of the “Grandfather of African cinema.”