Frances Lord is a visual art and craft specialist based in East Sussex with expertise in curating, public art and commissioning, policy and strategy development, mentoring, coaching, writing and editing. She has worked with artists, arts organisations, architects, developers, local government initiating, developing arts and cultural projects. 


2014 – present: Sessional lecturer, MA Craft & Design, University of Creative Arts, Farnham

2012 - present: House Guide, Charleston Farmhouse, E Sussex

2000 – present: freelance curator and art consultant

Prior to 2000: Director of the Hampshire Sculpture Trust 2000 – 2002; Commissioning Officer & Crafts Officer at South East Arts 1994 – 2000; and Business Development Officer & Assistant Manager, V&A Crafts Shop at the Crafts Council 1984 – 1994.


MA in Art History, Birkbeck College, London University, 1994 – 1996

BA Arts, Open University, 1986 – 1992  


a -n magazine, applied arts contributor, 2007 – 2010

Artists’ profiles 2, June 2008,

Catalogue essays + publications

David Haughton in St Just, publication text to accompany David Haughton exhibition at Penlee Museum & Art Gallery, Penzance, 2018

‘The size of a brick’, essay for Making Ground project, 2017

‘Transformation and Change’Don’t look back, I told you so! Chien-Wei Chang exhibition; 2011, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Touch: a site specific installation by Lyndall Phelps at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 2010

Clare Wardman + Iain Richardson new work, 2010

Overview: new work by glass and textile artist Susan Kinley (catalogue essay), 2009

Prickings new work by Catherine Bertola (catalogue introduction), 2006

Jewellery is Life, Mah Rana, 2003

Books, journals, case studies and biographies

(ed) Combe Down: the saving of a village, published by Combe Down Stone Mines Project, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9563829-3-4

a -n magazine, applied arts contributor, 2007 – 2010

Artists’ profiles 2, June 2008,

Public Art and Artists Commissions in West Sussex, 2008

Design Standards: Art within the Public Realm, 2007

Art in Public Places: public art initiatives and artists’ commissions in East Sussex, 2006

Up in the Air, Mur Island, Electric Wharf and Young Vic case studies for Public Art On Line.

(ed) Maker biographies + Study Collection, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham


Salon – A sense of Place: Creative Responses to The Estuary, Metal, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, 2012

Heart of Reeds: a case study, ‘Public Art? What for? Who for?’ conference, School of Art & Design, University of Ulster, 2007

Art in the Public Realm and Curating the Crafts lectures, Royal College of Art, London, 2005

Jewellery is Life, new work by Mah Rana, ‘Locate and Classify: New approaches to curating the crafts’ conference, Newcastle University, Sept 2003

Have you ever dreamt that your teeth have fallen out? (paper), Consuming Crafts Conference, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, May 2001


Frances has worked with numerous clients initiating, developing and managing arts and cultural projects. Clients include local government, architects, developers, environmental agencies, healthcare agencies, artists and arts organisations.


Consultant, City Park West, Chelmsford, 2015 – present

Artist Nayan Kulkarni’s VEILL video wall will be installed on site of Phase 2 in 2019.

Consultant, Premier Marinas, West Sussex, 2014-15

Chris Elsey & Alyosha Moeran appointed to create a stone sculpture for Chichester Marina.

Consultant, City Park West, Chelmsford, 2014

Lead artist Christopher Tipping appointed for Phase 1 to design paving, seating and glass.

Project Manager, Grosvenor Rocks, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, 2013

The Grosvenor Rocks installation in Grosvenor & Hilbert Park, Tunbridge Wells by We Made That won a Civic Society Award. The artwork was adorned with modern day graffiti by local residents and carved into the sandstone by letter cutter Bridget Powell.

Lore of the Land photographic lightboxes commission by Heinrich & Palmer for Chelmsford Magistrates Court in Essex, 2012. Client: Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS)

Norwood Junction Underpass Public Art Project, Commissions Advisor, 2010.

Client: Croydon Borough Council

Combe Down Stone Mines Public Art Project, 2008 – 10

Two years of activity, events, residencies and commissions, including a book of poetry, a play, a musical composition, photography, a ceramic exhibition and installation, gifting of 691 unique ceramic plates to village residents, stone carving, two films, a celebratory event and a series of publications. £270K public art budget. Consultancy with Steve Geliot. Client: Homes and Communities Agency (HCA),

Fernbank Centre, Crowborough, E Sussex - Metal panels commission by James Price, 2010

Client: Wealden District Council

Public Art Advisor, Crawley Borough Council, 2000 – 2010.

Major projects include Bewbush Healthy Living Centre 2010, Langley Green Neighbourhood Regeneration Scheme 2009, K2 Leisure Centre, 2006,‘Art on the Roundabouts’ scheme.

Public Art Advisor, West Sussex County Council, 2004 – 09

Major projects include Crawley Art and Architecture Programme: new art commissions at PFI Thomas Bennett Community and Ifield Community Colleges, Crawley, 2007; Arts and Regeneration programme: Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, 2005-6; Public Art and Artists Commissions in West Sussex publication 2008, and Design Standards: Art within the Public Realm publication, 2007.

Public Art Consultant, East Sussex Arts Partnership, 2003 – 06

Major projects include Art in Public Places: public art initiatives and artists’ commissions in East Sussex, and Art in Public Places: advice and commissioning guidelines, 2006


Art in the Public Realm Framework, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, 2015

Public Art Policy + Strategy, Chichester District Council, 2009

Worthing and Adur Public Art Policy + Strategy, 2009 (with Steve Geliot)

A Public Art Strategy for Woking, 2007

Camber Sands Arts Strategy, 2006. Client: East Sussex County Council Landscape Group


Craft Apprenticeships Research Project, partnership with Making Space, Havant, 2014.

‘Elizabethan mansion to Edwardian horticultural splendor’, a Cultural Strategy for Borde Hill Garden, East Sussex, 2013-14

Phoenix Brighton Exhibition Partners and Collaborators Report, 2013. Client: Phoenix Brighton

Making It - a 3 day celebration of craft and creativity, Winchester, October 2012 (Event Organiser). Client: Making Space + University of Winchester

Spode China Hall: Contemporary Art Programme and Business and Operational Plan, for, Stoke-on-Trent, 2012 (with Kate Stoddart). Client: Stoke City Council.


Spiralling Skywards, Nymans, E Sussex , 2011. Client: National Trust

Four Shores: art works for the Isle of Sheppey, 2005..

Heart of Reeds, a project to create a reedbed designed by Chris Drury for disused railway land in Lewes, E Sussex. 2005..

Environmental Arts Programme, Wildfowl and Wetland Centre, Arundel, 2004

Chalk Stones on the South Downs and Moonlit Path in Petworth Park Project Manager: two new commissions by Andy Goldsworthy in W Sussex, 2002.


Lister Surgicentre Arts Strategy, Stevenage, 2010. Client: Clinicenta

Woodhurst Diagnostics Centre (DTC) Arts Strategy, West Sussex, 2010 Client: Sussex Health Care

3Ts Arts Strategy, as Associate for Willis Newson, 2010. Client: Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust (BSUH)

Leading the Way, first phase of a three year arts programme to enhance the new PF1 Gloucestershire Royal Hospital through a series of integrated commissions, as Associate for Willis Newson.


‘Garden of Reason’, Ham House and Garden, Richmond Upon Thames. Client: National Trust, 2012

British Ceramics Biennial 2009. Client: Stoke City Council

Up the road and round the corner’, Client: ONE TO ONE Art and Architecture Network and Hastings Borough Council, 2007

through the surface – celebrating cultural exchange and collaboration between Britain and Japan. Client: University of Creative Arts, Surrey, 2005.  


Frances has mentored artists working in all disciplines, however she is particularly interested and experienced in working with artists from an applied arts background to develop their work within the field of public art and site-specific commissioning. She is also a qualified coach and has run professional development courses for artists and commissioners. Examples include:

‘Larger Scale Working: Potentials and Pitfalls’ and ‘Commissioning Artists for Public Spaces’, Belfast, 2012. Client: Craft NI.

Mentor – FF1 and FF2, Designer Maker West Midlands (DMWM) – mentoring programme for mid-career makers, 2009-11..

‘Art in Rose Hill Open Forum: Art in Public Spaces’, 2012. Client: Modern Art, Oxford.

‘Arts and Architecture seminar and workshop’, Winchester, 2011. Client: Hampshire County Council.

From Small to Big’, Birmingham, 2010. Client: Designer Maker West Midlands (DMWM).

Negotiating Public Art Commissions’, seminars for visual artists. Clients: a-n, eta.

Making it Happen seminar chair (series of three), University of Portsmouth, Museum of Reading and The Anvil, Basingstoke.


South East rep for CraftNet, an independent network that promotes leadership and strategic development for contemporary craft, 2013 – 16

Jury member and advisor for Art, Cities & Landscape programme, Amiens and Norfolk, 2013 + 2014

Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England (public art + craft + design), 2010 – 16

Commissions Advisor for Axis (2005 – 2008)

Executive Committee Member of Public Art Forum (now Ixia), 1999 - 2002


‘Elizabethan mansion to Edwardian horticultural splendor’, Arts Council Award to research and write a Cultural Strategy for Borde Hill Garden, 2013

Spark Plug Craft Curators award (with Cynthia Cousens) for Making Dialogues, 2009

Arts Council England Research grant to visit Documenta12 and Munster Sculpture Project, and public art projects in the UK, 2007

Visiting International Scholar, Meiji University, Tokyo; public art lectures and research, 2008

Arts Council England research grant to visit Snow Show, Finland, 2004


‘Relationship Dynamics Coaching’, Certificate of Accreditation, 2014

‘Creative Non-Fiction: memory, landscape, place’, Arvon, 2011

‘Life-writing’, Arvon, 2010