Survey by Qualaroo

New leadership

New leadership team announced: 8th March 2019

At the end of January Arnolfini announced the first stage of its transition to a refreshed organisation as a subsidiary charity of the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). This decision, coupled with the continued support of Arts Council England has created a platform for the next stage in its 55 year journey.

During February Arnolfini has established the basis of its new leadership team with Lhosa Daly as incoming Chair of Trustees and Gary Topp, as Interim Executive Director. They are joined by a highly experienced group of fellow Trustees and working alongside the current staff team they have immediately begun to build an operational model, and cultural practice approach, for Arnolfini as it brings the new arrangements to life.

Lhosa Daly, Chair commented:

"Over the last few weeks the Arnolfini board and staff team have been continuing the work to re-establish Arnolfini as a leading cultural venue with contemporary visual arts at its core. We are all delighted to welcome Gary Topp to lead the organisation at this exciting time. I know that we all look forward to Gary and the wider team helping Arnolfini make significant contributions to the cultural life of Bristol and the wider region."  

Gary Topp, the Interim Executive Director of Arnolfini, has been leading cultural organisation in a number of cities and regions in both the UK and Australia for the past twenty years. He will join Arnolfini following three years as Chief Executive of Culture Central in Birmingham.

Gary Topp, Interim Executive Director commented:

“It’s great to be invited to lead Arnolfini through this important next stage in its development. I am certain that the new relationship with UWE, and the continued support of Arts Council England, create the opportunity for us to quickly build a programme of activity and an operating model that will be at the forefront of contemporary cultural practice in the UK. I am looking forward to working with the many existing partners, the staff team and the Board of Trustees to make it happen. I have been a frequent visitor to Arnolfini for many years and enjoyed both its visual arts and performing arts programme and we aim to create that same excitement and energy for our many visitors and collaborators in the future.”

Phil Gibby, South West Area Director, Arts Council England commented:

 “We welcome news of Gary’s return to Bristol to take up this key role with Arnolfini and Lhosa’s arrival as incoming Chair. Gary has a strong track record in organisational change and stakeholder management and Lhosa’s exceptional credentials in business acumen and knowledge of the visual arts sector make them both ideally placed to deliver the vision, business modelling and partnership working that will be essential in securing a long-term future for the organisation.”

Lynn Barlow, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Creative and Cultural Industries Engagement, University of the West of England, said:

“Arnolfini is an iconic building and an important landmark in the creative life of the city and region and we believe it has a central role to play in ensuring art and culture is accessible to all. I am delighted to welcome Lhosa and Gary. We are confident that the combination of their considerable experience and expertise ensures Arnolfini has an exciting future.”

Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor of Bristol with responsibility for Culture, said:

“We welcome Gary and Lhosa’s appointments, their extensive experience will add both to the Arnolfini and the city.  I’m really looking forward to hearing their vision for Arnolfini and look forward to working with them and the wider sector in building on the city’s diverse cultural offer.”


For queries:

Arnolfini –


Tel: 0117 917 2300


UWE Bristol -


Tel: 0117 328 5679