MEET THE TEAM

Chair, Sophie Hull

Sophie joined the Oxmarket Board in 2017 as a Director and became Chair in 2019.  She spearheaded the fundraising and transformational refurbishment project. Under her leadership she has strengthened both the Executive and Trustee boards and re-focussed the direction of the Oxmarket.

On moving to Chichester she renovated a Grade II listed house receiving an Heritage Award.  A passionate amateur gardener and supporter of the arts she hopes to make the Oxmarket Gallery central to Chichester’s cultural and recreational experience.

Sophie had over two decades of experience in London, developing corporate communications and Investor Relations strategies before moving to Chichester five years ago.  She founded and manged her own specialist communications consultancy.


Board of Directors

Martyn Bell

Martyn Bell was previously Chairman of the Oxmarket Management Board from 2015 to early 2019.

Born in Brighton, he was educated at a State Grammar School and then Manchester University , where he graduated in Economics. He pursued a career in International Marketing & Retailing, retiring in 2000.

Since retirement he has lived in the City of Chichester and has served as a local Councillor since 2007. For 2014/15 he was appointed Chairman of Chichester District Council and for 2018/19 he was appointed Mayor of Chichester.

Martyn is Chairman of Chichester District Scouts , a Trustee of Chichester Marks Holocaust Memorial Day and a Vice- President of The Arts Society Chichester.

 

Jackie Blackman

For many years Jackie has been heavily involved in the arts, fashion and design and worked in Temple Bar, Dublin as Director of Design Yard Contemporary Jewellery Gallery in the early 90s. There she curated numerous exhibitions and ensured that the branding of the gallery was strong and consistent throughout.

Later, for a number of years, Jackie ran her own interior design company after which, she returned to learning and achieved a diploma in History of Art, a Masters in Creative Writing (Distinction) and a PhD in Drama Studies (all at Trinity College Dublin). Jackie was Post Graduate representative for Arts Letters in Trinity and sat on many committees effecting change.

More recently Jackie has renovated a Grade I listed building in London and completely redeveloped a South Downs garden which opens to the public for the NGS and other charities. Both have been featured in international publications.

Jackie joined the board of the Oxmarket Gallery in 2020.

 

Vivienne Durham

Born and bred in Chichester, Vivienne’s teaching career was spent in academically selective London independent schools. She was Headmistress of Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park for more than eleven years. In 2014 she was voted “Best Head of a Public School” in The Tatler’s national teaching awards. Vivienne’s husband, was Headmaster of UCS and Chairman of HMC and her brother is the distinguished Sussex artist, Alexander Johnson.

From 2017 until her retirement, Vivienne  was the Chief Executive of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), which represents Headteachers of leading independent schools. Vivienne undertakes a wide range of charitable activities and is a school governor of Portsmouth Grammar School and St Christopher’s Hampstead.

Vivienne joined the board of the Oxmarket Gallery in 2019.

 

Fiona Gowar

After Art College, Fiona studied fashion and knitwear in Nottingham, particularly focusing on illustration and fabric production.

Fiona was employed to design knitwear collections in the UK, and subsequently worked with Dutch and French companies to produce children’s wear and women’s fashion. A move to Kent made it possible to produce clothes under her own label, and to work on production of couture clothing for a London salon.

Back in Kent, after a 6 month break in Australia, Fiona was employed in the interior design business handling beautiful fabrics again and illustrating the company’s projects. This led to employment with a major interior design studio in Shropshire, which included illustrating proposed interiors and details.

Fiona moved to Sussex 30 years ago, and used watercolour in commissioned work over a wide range of subjects.

Fiona became a director of a commercial property company, much involved in the design and layout of buildings, and also producing illustrations of finished buildings from architects’ drawings. Upon retirement Fiona studied oil painting at West Dean College and has now been working in her studio, painting the sky in all its moods, for the last 7 years.

Fiona joined the board of the Oxmarket Gallery in 2019.

 

Louise Myles

Louise started her career with leading advertising agencies before moving into management consultancy. She founded a boutique management consultancy specialising in strategic marketing and customer facing operations for a wide range of private and public sector clients.

She sold her consultancy after the birth of her daughter and has since worked  with a number of small brands and start ups on their marketing strategy. She is a Trustee for a small education charity in Africa and previously,  a Carers charity in Sussex.

She has a lifelong interest in Art having completed an Art Foundation course at Worthing College of Art prior to University, and is now a keen collector.

Louise joined the board of the Oxmarket Gallery in 2021

 

 

Reverend Canon Dr Dan Inman, Director and Chancellor Chichester Cathedral

The role of Chancellor goes back to the twelfth century with a historic responsibility for education and learning in the Cathedral.

In the twenty-first century this means such things as having oversight of the Cathedral’s educational programmes, the interpretation of the Cathedral’s building and treasures, and the Cathedral’s wider cultural engagement in the city and across Sussex. Alongside the Oxmarket, Dan is a Governor and Visiting Fellow at the University of Chichester, a Governor of The Prebendal School, a member of the Festival of Chichester Committee, and an editor of The International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. He is also currently writing a book on the history of Anglicanism and the British Empire.

He was previously Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Chichester and, before that, Chaplain and Junior Research Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.

 

Mark Schwarz

Mark Schwarz is from Melbourne, Australia but moved to the UK in 1993 and now lives in Chichester with his wife and three daughters.  He started his career in law in private practice and moved into business roles in the 1990’s before taking on in-house legal roles from 2008.

Today he is Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Vontier Corporation (VNT:NYSE), a large US Public Company that focussed on mobility technologies and heads a global legal team.

He is a keen contemporary musician, as a singer, playing guitar and saxophone and writes his own material. He leaves the art to his wife and daughters but is delighted to be part of the Oxmarket team to assist on legal and commercial affairs.

Mark joined the board of the Oxmarket Gallery in 2020.

 

Ian Buckley (Treasurer)

Ian is a Chartered Accountant with a career in professional and financial services, the major part of which has involved managing investment management businesses . He has held a significant number of directorships of both private and publicly listed companies and has also been much involved in the not for profit sector.

He is currently Chairman of Quilter Cheviot Limited and is also Chairman of the Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust.

His wife Sarah is a talented amateur artist and sculptress and there is an eclectic collection of art at home. He has two married daughters, both living in West Sussex and four grandchildren. He is also keen on sport , has been a marathon runner and is a regular supporter of England rugby at Twickenham.


Trustees

Robert Gowing

Robert is a Senior Associate in the Planning & Zoning Team at City firm Bryan cave Leighton Paisner LLP, where he advises a wide range of clients from both the private and public sector on both complex developments and national infrastructure projects. 

Robert has a professional architecture degree and is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation. Prior to his role as a solicitor at Bryan CaveLeighton Paisner LLP (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner), he was the Head of Wall Paintings Conservation (and Senior Architectural Conservator) within the Building Conservation and Research Team at English Heritage (now Historic England).

He sits on a number of committees and boards focussed on conservation and heritage issues, including the Heritage Group of the British Property Federation and the Plowden Medal Committee for the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

 

Tessa Cox

In 2019 Tessa joined as a Trustee of the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester, having previously worked within the sectors of academic publishing and retail communication.

In 2014 she became custodian of the artwork and ceramics of her late parents, London art school trained Martina Thomas (1924-1995) Painter, and Eric James Mellon (1925-2014) Painter, Ceramist, Printmaker, at the 1940s St Martin’s School of Art and Central School of Art, respectively.

Her formative years were surrounded by the art hung on the walls and the ceramics around the family home.  She was witness to the daily pursuit dedicated to the making of art, by these two talented artists who lived in nearby Rose Green and worked in the studios there since 1956 (archive held by Special Collections, University of Chichester) .

Tessa brings first-hand, a personal insight into the 20th Century artist – life at times precarious and yet driven and unreservedly fulfilling – and an empathy that lives on in her as a life-long supporter of the arts.

 

 

Bernard Buckley

Bernard is a board level International Executive Coach and Management Consultant with over forty years corporate and free-lance expertise gained in a wide variety of industry sectors, including Media, Telecoms, Luxury Goods, Financial and Professional Services, Oil & Gas and the Public Sector where he held a number of board HR Director appointments.

Bernard has particular expertise and experience in business transformation, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, executive succession planning and executive performance reward including wealth creation plans. He also carries out board governance and effectiveness reviews in both corporate and charitable organisations. He was previously a trustee of St Wilfrid’s Hospice and KidsOut, a national charity that partners with Rotary to bring fun and excitement in the lives of disadvantaged children and the hope for a better future.

His husband Chris is a local author and garden designer. They both share a love of original art, sculpture as well as all aspects of the performing arts.

The Oxmarket is supported by a team of Volunteers.