Meet Mattie O’Callaghan, ACAVA’s Assistant Facilitator

We will be introducing our new Assistant Facilitators over the next few months. Watch this space to learn more about them and their backgrounds.

Our new Assistant Facilitators were recently recruited to support our pool of artist facilitators. The new team members have been working with our Flourish programme this summer and you’ll continue to see them on some of our other programmes too.

First up, meet Mattie O’Callaghan!


Introduce yourself!

“I’m a curator, writer and designer working at the intersection between art and ecology, exploring how we can live better together on our fragile planet. My background is in geography and I have a MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art where I researched art in community gardens. I grew up in High Wycombe but was very lucky to move to Devon when I was 16 and enjoy spending a lot of my time swimming in cold water in the seas and streams stretched across the landscape. ”


Describe the Flourish workshops with Josh Bilton in three words.

“Playful, Imaginative, Journeys”


Are there any other ACAVA programmes you’d like to work on?

“I am really loving helping run Cultivate Create with ACAVA, it’s an exciting project where we are transforming ACAVA’s backyard into a garden through ecological and art activities with families. It’s so beautiful to watch the space transform, to harvest vegetables we’ve grown and to see wildlife flocking into what was a bare concrete space.”


Tell us about a recent project you’ve worked on.

“I’ve recently been working on a curatorial project I developed called Mushroom For All supported by Kew Gardens’ Grow Wild and The Hoxton Trust. It’s been a series of workshops all inspired by fungi, where we’ve been making mushroom paper, sharing recipes, and also running a fungi walk for queer young people. The aim has been to connect people to the amazing power of fungi and to come together to share ideas, food, and solidarities.”


What would be your dream project?

“I would love to co-design spaces with communities that transform neglected lands into places full of plants, wildlife alongside exciting art programmes which bring people together to nurture these inner sanctuaries in the city.”