Meet the team

Office Manager - Katrine Stolsnes

Katrine is the office manager for two branches of Studio Upstairs. She has a MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy and a BA in Cultural Project Management. Katrine has a wide experience with administrative and marketing work from festivals and art organisations.

Office Assistant - Uma Maria Caruana-Klasson

Uma is an artist, with a BA(Hons) in photography, using a blend of both documentary and therapeutic photography. She also volunteers at Turf Projects - a learning disability organisation. Uma has experience in organising and suporting workshops, events and exhibitions.


Studio Manager - Sharon Lewis

Sharon is a qualified Art Psychotherapist and artist with substantial experience of creative communities, education and health settings.


 

Studio Manager - Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer is an artist and HCPC registered Art Therapist.  When training Jeniffer has completed clinical placements within both adult palliative care and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Pre-training she worked with children and adolescents with complex needs within specialist schools.


Studio Manager -  Madeleine Jessel

Madeleine is a qualified, HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist (from Goldsmiths University) with a background in creative arts. She has worked therapeutically at the Notre Dame Refugee Centre, and at the British Red Cross as a creative group facilitator for adolescents and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is interested in making safe therapeutic spaces more accessible.

Studio Manager -  Dea Loloci

Dea is a qualified, HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist. Besides Studio Upstairs she works therapeutically with refugees and children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


 

Administrator - Jessica Zaydner

Jessica is a Fine Art Painting graduate from the University of Brighton with years of experience in customer service, administrative and hospitality roles. She is a maker & appreciator of interdisciplinary arts, an advocate for intersectional feminism with an interest in environmental sustainability.


Office Assistant - Uma Maria Caruana-Klasson

Uma is an artist, with a BA(Hons) in photography, using a blend of both documentary and therapeutic photography. She also volunteers at Turf Projects - a learning disability organisation. Uma has experince in organising and supporting workshops, events and exhibitions.


Senior Studio Manager - David Fried

A registered HCPC art therapist, David has been working as a Senior Manager for Studio Upstairs since 2006 having previously worked as a Studio Manager and volunteer.  David studied Fine Art BA (Hons) at Middlesex Polytechnic. He is a MA Postgraduate at the Royal College of Art and Art Therapy graduate at St. Alban School of Art. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the field and also works part-time as an art therapist within the NHS facilitating a variety of art therapeutic groups and working with inpatients.


Studio Manager - Shahla Isfahani

Shahla is an HCPC registered Art Therapist and BAAT member. She joined Studio in 2008 and has many years of experience working with adults and adolescents in various settings, including NHS Trusts and charity organizations. She has worked with refugees who are survivors of human rights abuse and as a visiting tutor at Hertfordshire University for foundation and MA art therapy students.

Shahla has won the ‘Art Therapy Essay Prize Competition’ awarded by BAAT and Taylor & Francis publications and published her article in the International Journal of Art therapy: Inscape (2008).


Studio Manager - Kristina Page

Kristina has over 6 years of experience with Studio Upstairs when she also worked with the Claremont Psychotherapies project. She was an Associate Lecturer on the MA Art Psychotherapy course (Golsmiths University) and previously an Art Therapist for Headway. Kristina is an HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist, clinical supervisor of trainees and recently completed a Diploma course with IGA.  She is very committed to her own training and development as well as to maintaining active art practice.


Studio Manager - Thomas Etheridge

Thomas is an HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist and as well as working with adults he has a background in working with children and adolescents, including refugee client groups. Thomas has also worked in museums and galleries. Previously a volunteer at Studio Upstairs South London, Thomas has been involved with Studio Upstairs since 2019. As well as a Studio Manager, Thomas works on other SU projects including Studio Inside and Art Lifelines.


Studio Manager - Fazilla Virmani

Fazila is HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist and BAAT member. She trained psychodynamically at the University of Hertfordshire. Before her current appointment, she was on a placement with Studio Upstairs and Ben Uri Gallery and Museum. Her work experience includes therapeutic work in educational settings.


Studio Manager - Helen Omand

Helen is an HCPC registered art therapist and an artist. Helen has been involved with the Studio Upstairs since 2007 and also has experience working in both NHS and educational settings.  She has worked on a multidisciplinary research project at University College London using images with adults with chronic pain.

Helen has a background in film making and video and has facilitated arts in health projects, community arts projects and given workshops for training art therapists.


Studio Manager - Fiona Toth-Gillies

Fiona qualified in Art Therapy at the La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has experience from a wide range of settings and previously worked at the North London Studio as a volunteer and cover manager.


 


 

Office Manager - Katrine Stolsnes

Katrine is the office manager for two branches of Studio Upstairs. She has a MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy and a BA in Cultural Project Management. Katrine has wide experience with administrative and marketing work from festivals and art organisations. Besides working for Studio Upstairs, she also works as the Office Manager for the art community organisation Art4Space.

Office Assistant - Uma Maria Caruana-Klasson

Uma is an artist, with a BA(Hons) in photography, using a blend of both documentary and therapeutic photography. She also volunteers at Turf Projects - a learning disability organisation. Uma has experience in organising and supporting workshops, events and exhibitions.


 

Studio Manager - Ethna Matthews

Ethna is an artist as well as an HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist. Ethna has been working with Studio Upstairs since September 2017 and has worked in several hospices as well as in the museums and galleries sector.  In addition, she runs a weekly CYP clinic as an associate art psychotherapist for Hampshire Psychology.  She undertakes freelance commissioning work from NHS CCGs and education providers in the state and private sector.


Studio Manager - Fazilla Virmani

Fazila is HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist and BAAT member. She trained psychodynamically at the University of Hertfordshire. Before her current appointment, she was on a placement with Studio Upstairs and Ben Uri Gallery and Museum. Her work experience includes therapeutic work in educational settings.


Studio Manager - Thomas Etheridge

Thomas is an HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist and as well as working with adults he has a background in working with children and adolescents, including refugee client groups. Previously a volunteer at Studio Upstairs South London, Thomas has been involved with Studio Upstairs since 2019. As well as a Studio Manager, Thomas works on other SU projects including Studio Inside and Art Lifelines. Thomas has also worked in museums and galleries.


Trustee/ Director/ Chair of the Board: Keith Miller

Keith has over 40 years’ experience in banking and finance dealing with SME’s and larger businesses. He developed a specialism in supporting larger charities with their banking requirements before moving into the not for profit sector where he has been supporting businesses become finance ready to start and grow. He has over ten years’ experience of sitting on loan panels and is ACIB qualified.


Trustee/ Director:  Pernilla Rosendahl

Pernilla has extensive senior level experience in strategy, marketing, sales and operations across consumer, tech and services sectors. She has have worked globally for many of the world’s leading organisations in various management and project roles. Her passion is in creating long lasting business impact and organisational change through purpose combining overall strategic vision with operational transformation.


Trustee/ Director:  Alex Holmes

Alex is Head of Administration and Finance for the University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics and has worked in clinical teaching and research departments within the University for more than ten years. Prior to this he worked clinically as a Registered Nurse in acute Trauma and Respiratory Medicine settings and has worked in finance and management in public and private sector settings including charities and industry. He holds a bachelors degree in Adult Nursing and a post-graduate Diploma in Higher Education Administration, Management, and Leadership, and is an Accredited Member of the Association of University Administrators. As well as an interest in art, Alex is a performing musician and writer.

 

Managing Director/ Company Secretary: Zlatinka Hristova 

Zlatinka is an artist, arts manager and curator.  Her work experience spans directorships in the private sector, teaching, mentoring and arts management. She holds two Fine Art degrees, PGCE, MA in Arts Policy and Management (Birkbeck) and Group Work Diploma (IGA).

Leo Burley

My name is Leo Burley and I am a documentary film-maker born, and still living in, North London. I began my career making films about British art and artists and still have a strong connection to the visual arts. I’ve also made several films which have explored mental health, most recently the Bafta-nominated BBC documentary Life After Suicide which won best TV programme at the 2015 Mind Media Awards.

I am therefore hugely supportive of Studio Upstairs, a grassroots charity that for over 30 years has been supporting people with mental health difficulties to explore their own creativity through art therapy and creative projects. Their work is crucial in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society become empowered through making art.

Their studios in Dalston, Croydon and Bristol provide a safe and calm space where people can develop as artists in their own right and challenge mental health stigma. I cannot emphasise enough the significance of giving individuals access to mutually supportive group environments and the difference that creative opportunities can make in improving people’s long-term mental health.