Meet The Team

Paula Denton BA (Hons)

Paula Denton BA Hons


I’ve always been described as someone who is highly creative and motivated. I am a creative cultural entrepreneur with over three decades of experience in the creative industries. Before helping to found Our Big Picture, I had seen first hand how the cultural needs of my hometown were not being met. I am a firm believer that this area deserves the best!

In the past few years, in collaboration with some outstanding partners, we’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some incredible talent. This has started to lead to positive changes in the region.

A combination of my many years of experience in project management, negotiation and strategic partnership working, along with the cultural investment that has begun in the region, are creating new and exciting challenges for Our Big Picture to support the regeneration of the local area.

Monica Chatterton MBE, BSc, MSc

Monica Chatterton MBE, BSc, MSc

Company Secretary

I have been described as the area’s first Social Entrepreneur. I passionately believe in the rightful place of young people in their local community. This belief has been the foundation of my 30 years of pioneering work in the voluntary sector. In the early 1990s, I set up a local youth homelessness charity, Grimsby & Cleethorpes Area Doorstep, to help create decent housing for young people while providing them with appropriate community support to live independently with self-worth and dignity.

In 2000, I set up the first Youthbuild programme in the UK to address the longer-term issues of youth unemployment. This programme gave homeless young people the chance to build their own homes and at the same time, get qualifications and skills in building trades. For many of these young people, this programme led to employment in the local building trade.

Like all charities and social enterprises, fundraising was a major part of this work. We were the first voluntary sector organisation to get National Lottery funding.

Both Doorstep and Youthbuild created opportunities for young people, giving them the stability and the skills to play an active role in their local communities. The work of Doorstep continues today.

I retired in 2004. In 2016, I became one of the founding directors of Our Big Picture, once again putting children and young people at the heart of the community – addressing their creative needs and inspiring them through getting them involved in the arts.

Dominic Mason MA

Dominic Mason MA


I trained as an artist before working for several years as an engineer and stage manager in the live music industry. From 2003 onwards, after completing an MA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, I realised the best way to make great art happen was to become more involved in organising exhibitions, commissions, festivals, and events myself.

Over the following years, I worked for Bloc Projects, Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust, Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum, and various other independent projects. In 2006, I began working at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe, and now lead a small team creating inspiring exhibitions that have been seen by over a million visitors in Scunthorpe, and across the UK through our touring programme.

I started working with Our Big Picture as part of a partnership with 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, delivering high-quality contemporary art exhibitions as part of the Art in the Minster programme. I’m committed to helping great art to develop and thrive in the North Lincolnshire region, and using art as a way of transforming the region and the lives of the people who live here.

Jo Shaw

Arts & Heritage Programme Manager

 Jo is an innovative and creative manager with over a decade of experience working with the creative arts and cultural educational sector.

Jo has extensive experience in coordinating key cultural and industry partners and events to facilitate the delivery of exciting and inspirational employability provisions. She has led award-nominated teams to achieve and extend national curriculum targets.

Julie Samuels 

Digital & Inclusion Lead

A keen participant in technology-based social groups she enjoys new challenges. Julie is always keen to expand her knowledge and work across different sectors.

Julie has extensive experience working in the creative media industry and educational sector.


Karen Watson MBE


Karen is a co-founder and Artistic Directors at East Street Arts. She leads on the company’s vision, strategic developments and is specifically passionate about artists’ support including the role of research and advocacy.

Karen spends a lot of time on the allotment. She collects plastic and metal crap that she finds on the streets (which she will do something with at some point). Karen read loads about art, history and how bad the world is, and loves travelling and visiting cities.

Karen is a Leeds United fan.


David McLeavy


I am an independent curator, writer & producer based in Sheffield, and I work on all sorts of different projects, including producing small festivals, curating contemporary art exhibitions, leading workshops, offering consultancy for small to medium sized arts organisations, and everything in between. 

I am the Founder and Editor of the web platform YAC | Young Artists in Conversation and between 2021 – 2022 I was the Curator at Absolutely Cultured leading on the artistic programme at Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Prior to that, I was the Director of the contemporary arts organisation Bloc Projects, Sheffield between 2017 – 2021.

Previously I also co-founded the cycling clothing and lifestyle brand Curbar with artist James Clarkson, produced projects as 1/3 of the curatorial group Basic Channel, was the Co-Director of the international residency and exhibition programme Picnic Picnic with Pippa Cook, and worked as an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University’s Fine Art department.

I have served on a few boards and advisory groups in the past, including being the Chair of Trustees at Turf Projects, Croydon, as well as currently being on the advisory board for PINK, Manchester.

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