Meet the team


Anthea McWilliams ​and ​Robert Martin  
Co-Curatorial Directors, R-Space Gallery
Anthea has been a freelance arts and culture professional since 1988, including her contemporary dance practice and work within R-Space.

Robert spent 13 years as Visual Arts Officer for Arts Council England. He heads up the Gallery’s creative programming, which is primarily funded by Arts Council Northern Ireland and produces ​a blend of exhibitions and community events ​across the year.

Robert and Anthea established R-Space Gallery CIC in 2011. The Gallery’s opening exhibition was The Art and Science of Linen with Anna Dumitriu, which planted the first seed of what would blossom into the Linen Biennale.

Inspired by The British Ceramics Biennial (founded and run by former colleagues of Robert) and further encouraged by the success of their 2015 collaboration with Professor Jane McCann, the Linen Biennale is a celebration of the Recall ​(past) , Rethink (present )​and Reform (future)​ of linen.


unnamed (2)Dr Jane McCann
Associate Professional

Professor Jane McCann is a leading authority on performance sportswear and functional textiles.

She established the first masters programme in Performance Sportswear Design at the University of Derby and was director of the Smart Clothes and Wearable Technologies (SCWT) Research Centre (2004 – 12) at what is now the University of South Wales.

She collaborated with Robert and Anthea to curate the Linen Futures Exhibition in R Space Gallery in 2015, which, as mentioned above, has paved the way for the first Linen Biennale.


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Jo Watson
Freelance Project Manager, Linen Biennale 2018 

Jo secures funding, stakeholder management and production aspects of the project​. She is responsible for the continuing development, production and delivery of events, exhibitions and workshops.

She trades as JW Associates NI, and has over 25 years’ experience in the voluntary and private sectors, including event management, strategic planning, financial management, influencing key stakeholders and fundraising for a broad mix of charities, both national and local.