The Team

Lead Artists/Co-Creative Directors

picture of woman looking a bit embarrassed

Sandra Hall – Co-Director and Lead Artist

Born in Kenya, Sandra’s early career was grounded in performing in theatre, TV and film before coming to Birmingham in 1990 for a two-year stint with Geese Theatre, performing in 120 prisons across the UK and Ireland. Sandra has trained with the likes of Philippe Gaulier, Augusto Boal, Prapto Suryodarmo, Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Jonathan Kay and is an accomplished actor, director and deviser of performance in all its many forms. Alongside Lee she initiates, devises and develops Friction’s projects, as well as fundraising, managing projects and people and ensuring everything’s on track. Sandra grew up ligging her way around the original punk and new wave scene in late 70s/early 80s London and has a treasure trove of stories from that time.

Lee Griffiths – Co-director and Lead Artist

‘Proper Brummie’ Lee’s early career was nothing if not eclectic. Including running his own tropical fish shop business at age 17, spending several years as a commercial scuba diver, becoming a qualified nursery nurse, a farm labourer and finally an audio-visual engineer – his wide experience has stood him in good stead to work in the responsive environment that Friction’s work creates. Lee, like Sandra, is responsible for the decision-making and development side of Friction’s output and in addition is an all-round maker, handyman and techie, and Friction’s one man IT Crowd.

Richard Bromhall Operations Coordinator and Producer

Richard is an arts producer born and raised in Longbridge. He joined us in 2020 after spending ten years working with young people in schools and colleges in Nottingham. In parallel to that work, he was a project manager for several arts projects, including Journey to Justice: Nottingham, a city-wide campaign to raise the profile of the city’s social justice struggles, Movements, and the Big City Reads project with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, where he developed his passion for making arts work with and about working-class people in the Midlands.

In his current role, he supports Lead Artists to deliver projects, fundraises, and contributes to the smooth running of Friction Arts.

Karla Hunter – Finance Officer

Karla has been with Friction since 2011. Coming from a corporate finance background she ensures Friction’s finances are on track and that our artists are always paid on time. When not at work, she indulges in cage fighting and hand to hand combat (not really, just trying to make sure Friction gets paid on time, too).

Simon Walker

Simon has worked with Friction as an artist, performer, graphic artist, video artist for nearly 20 years. He has worked with us regularly on our international arts projects and is one of our closest collaborators. As a creative catalyst, Simon has worked across, through, with, along and inside most of our projects – he’s part of and contributes to our DNA.

Heather Wilson – Art Club Lead Artist

Heather is an artist and educator with a varied practice who has been with Art Club for many years, first as a volunteer, then a support artist to now leading the programme. She’s also an Arts Award accredited trainer and delivers the Awards across all our young people-centred programmes.

Sarah Kaur – Culture Club Lead Artist

Sarah originally came to us as a shadow artist, supporting and attending our Walking Over Coals artist development programme. Since then her relationship with the company has blossomed and she’s supported on both MMM and Art Club and worked as a performer and producer on Quiet Carnival. In 2021 we will be partnering with Sarah to produce Culture Club, working with young people not in formal education to develop their creative skills while exploring their identity.

Natalie Mason- Creative Director MMM

Natalie is a classically-trained musician and ethnomusicologist, currently undertaking a PhD at Birmingham Uni, using the MMM programme as a focus. When she’s not changing the way music is taught in schools she also plays in a number of musical outfits including Kamera Obscura (with Atsuko Kamura), Into the Zoetrope and regularly guesting across whole range of Birmingham’s music scene.

Other people

Friction Arts also works regularly with over 20 freelance artists, technicians and other experts. Together, we produce high-quality, risk-taking work, whatever the context. There’s far too many to list here, but thanks to all of you.

The Board

As well as Lee and Sandra, we have a diverse board including:

Chair Tyrone Huggins – Tyrone is an actor, director and writer, regularly appearing across the country and on your television screen. He’s been a campaigner for diversity in the arts for the past 30 years or so, and continues to influence the sector at all levels.

Treasure Janet Hetherington – Janet is a teacher and academic who has specialised in the arts in the education and health sectors. Janet supports Friction, particularly around keeping us up to date with current safeguarding practices.

Gemma Dhami – Gemma is Museums Learning Manager for Worcester Museums and is a great source of information on arts and heritage practice.

Mark Webster – Formerly leading the community arts course at Staffs Uni, Mark is a veteran community artist, currently based in Walsall who organises many projects and events for Caldmore Community Gardens.

Michael Mihoc – Michael is an actor, writer and director who also co-founded Coventry’s ‘Fridays’ Club – an initiative by young people to help other young people at risk of being involved in knife crime through making art and performance projects together. Michael is the youngest member of the board at 19.