Get to know the tutors

Sue Collard

Following a career as a qualified Youth and Community Development Worker, Sue Collard returned to full-time education and graduated with a BA in Community Art from Middlesex University. She worked as a Community Artist before taking a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at London Southbank University.

After teaching in schools for many years, Sue left teaching and enrolled as a student at Mary Ward. She has been teaching here ever since, teaching Product Design using Photoshop, Illustration, Drawing, Painting, Hand Embroidery, and many different Crafts.

Annette Bugansky

Born into a family of couture tailors, dressmakers and milliners, Your tutor Annette grew up in Soho in London. Whilst studying Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion in 1981, she worked on costumes for theatre including the Scottish Ballet and the English National Opera. After graduating she joined the Jean Muir Fashion House in Mayfair and later went on to work at the BBC as a Dressmaker and then Head Tailor before setting up her own couture design business specialising in wedding, evening and costume wear as a freelance designer/maker.

She returned to further her studies at Central Saint Martins and in 2005 and after finishing her MA, she started up her studio at Cockpit Arts. As an award winning British ceramic designer she produces fresh yet timeless collections of contemporary vessels, lighting and wall art, all starting from her very own textile structures. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe and has been featured in books and magazines both at home and internationally.

Her work brings together ceramics with traditional clothes pattern drafting techniques, experimental stitch, crochet and embroidery.

Annette now juggles her time between family, her teaching and running her own design business.

Abigail Downer

Abigail’s practice and teaching is wide ranging. Although she has always been a colourist – she trained as a sculptor at Newcastle University in the 1980’s before working on private and public realm commissions nationally. Teaching has always been a part of her professional practice and her knowledge and creative use of 2d and 3d materials is inspiring. More recent works and creative practice can be viewed on:

Lara Hailey

Lara Hailey is a textile artist and educator. She studied at Goldsmiths college and has taught at a number of London colleges, galleries and museums. She has exhibits her work throughout the UK and has recently been selected for a residency in New York.

Emma Weir

Emma is a Fellow of the International Dance Teachers’ Association and trains students in a range of social dance styles from beginners to professionals. Recent students have had the opportunity to dance at local events such as Queen Square Fair (pictured) but there’s no pressure to perform and everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace. Emma’s classes are fun and inclusive – and her popular Zoom taster classes in the summer proved that they work very well online too.

Dr Ben Pestell

Dr Ben Pestell has a decade’s experience teaching courses in mythology and literature. He focuses particularly on Ancient Greek tragedy and epic, comparative readings of international myths, and the role of myth in contemporary literature – especially in ‘psychogeography’. He has two main aims in teaching ancient texts. The first is to understand the origins: where did the story come from? who wrote it down? what purpose did it serve? how has it been preserved? The second is to discuss with his students why these ancient stories, images, ideas and symbols still speak to people today. He believes that understanding myth makes us more aware of the power that stories have over our daily lives – stories that can be nourishing and empowering, or stories that can be coercive and enfeebling. Understanding myth helps us see this power at work. It also provides an opportunity to read some of the most incredible stories ever told: myths that are at once baffling and meaningful, tragic and hilarious, brutal and humane, strange and familiar.

Debra Traynar

Debra (@yogadebralondon) has been developing her healing, nurturing style of yoga for the last 15 years.

She draws on her in-depth experience as a practitioner and yoga teacher to unpick the problems caused by busy lives and long hours crouched over screens, helping students build up flexibility, resilience and strength. Debra takes great care to offer adjustments and alternative poses to ensure that her classes are genuinely accessible. She also stresses the importance of balancing movement with re-vitalising relaxation poses.

Debra is also one of the small number of Menopause Yoga specialists currently teaching in the UK. Prior to discovering yoga, Debra worked for more than a decade as a web designer at BBC Online.