Mella Shaw
Mella Shaw
Head Girl 1995-96

After Bedales, where did you study?

Foundation in Art and Design (Merit), Kingston University; BA Anthropology (1st), Durham University; MA Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester; Ceramics Diploma, City Lit

What is your current role?

Head of Exhibitions, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Main positions of responsibility or influence in and out of the work place since leaving school

At university, Chair Fine Art Society and Secretary, Amnesty International Student Group. Director/producer roles in various documentary projects (student etc); Exhibitions co-ordinator V&A Museum; current role for three years.

What do you consider to be the most important attribute of leadership?

An ability to communicate a shared vision and to listen to others.

Identify any role models (and their position) who helped shape your leadership approach?

In my current role I worked my way up the department so my previous boss (whose role I do now) was very inspirational.

In what way did your time at Bedales influence your education and career progression?

The very broad education meant that I found it hard to specialise (in my opinion this is a plus!) so I have done a very wide range of jobs and have had a couple of careers. Ultimately I have always wanted to be a professional artist/maker and I am now going back to this love (to study Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College). I also greatly enjoy my management position and this is how I will fund my studies at the RCA.

What is your fondest memory of Bedales?

So many! Outdoor Work, baking bread, whole school efforts; deep and lasting friendships and spending time on my own in the art department; winning Le Mans 1996!

What is your favourite pastime?

Cycling and being in my studio.

What is your proudest achievement?

I have just heard I have been given a place at the RCA to study Ceramics and Glass.

We are grateful to Mella for responding to this survey in 2011 as part of a leadership study of former Bedales head boys and head girls.