Emerald Ant works with communities to celebrate what is special about their place. We engage with schools and small community groups, sharing meanings and interpretations, ideas, planning and designing together. We bring in experts on wildlife, local history and geology, so participants can learn first hand. The process culminates in big spectacular artworks that build joyful collective memory. Often what is created is a carnival procession, an installation or giant costumes for outdoor events.

We are also known for our dinosaur theatre performances; Horace the Pliosaur and Iggy the Iguanodon. These tour the country, entertaining children and families, whilst spreading knowledge about our amazing geological heritage.

We have a commitment to broaden opportunities for children and engage them creatively. Most of our work takes place in our home area, Dorset, but we also work regionally in southwest England. Wherever possible, we link schools with others abroad to share their stories and collaborate on joint arts projects. 

Our projects are funded by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, special interest organisations such as The Palaeontological Association and the Curry Fund, and a range of charities and trusts.

For more information about Emerald Ant CIC, our most recent set of accounts, policies and procedures, please email crdirector@emeraldant.com

Who’s involved?

Sarah Butterworth – Creative Director / Visual Art

Sarah has over 15 years’ experience as an artist and arts manager, and worked with Emergency Exit Arts in London before moving to Dorset in 2006. Her formative years were spent in the former Yugoslavia and Iran running arts projects with children in post-conflict and post-earthquake settings. She says “The cultures in the Balkans and the Middle East stimulated my love of outdoor theatre and street art. Nowadays I’m very involved in the rich heritage Dorset and south west England has to offer, particularly the Jurassic Coast. I am passionate about creating large scale, interactive art for people to explore, play with, and believe this should be freely available to all.” View her Gallery of work.

Ellen Velázquez – Musical Director
Ellie graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was appointed Principal Oboe of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville in 1990.  On returning to Great Britain in 1996, she studied a Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at SOAS before taking up the post of Cor Anglais with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, where she remained for nine years.
In 2009, Ellie became Director of Music at Sherborne Preparatory School, progressing to become a consultant and project manager for numerous educational and community initiatives.
‘I enjoy bringing people together through music and creativity. Now, more than ever, live performance is a precious experience for us to treasure in our busy lives. As Musical Director of Emerald Ant, I identify all sorts of exciting possibilities to create extraordinary stories to be told through music and spectacle, a new era of creativity which is unique to the moment, embracing all generations, collaborating, experimenting, breathing in fresh air, elemental and in touch with reality. What a celebration!’

Jonny Hoskins – Performer

Horace the Travelling Pliosaur Cinema smJonny studied drama at Manchester University and trained at the Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris before teaching the Applied Movement syllabus at Oxford School of Drama from 2004 to 2009. Nowadays, he is Senior Lecturer of Drama at Arts University Bournemouth, also a freelance director and actor. Jonny lives with this wife and 3 children in West Dorset. He plays the part of Dr Davidson in Horace the Travelling Pliosaur Cinema. http://www.jonnyanyway.com/

Caroline Barnes
– Artist / Project Management

caroline barnesCaroline is a ceramicist and has worked as project manager for a range of community based participatory arts projects for the last 20 years. Working across sectors including health, museums, heritage and education Caroline currently works part time coordinating arts programmes at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Trust, as well as delivering a variety of freelance evaluation and project briefs. Caroline studied Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University followed by an MA in Heritage Studies at Nottingham Trent University and also runs her own Ceramic business from Dorset.

Eileen Haste – Visual Artist

Eileen pic

“It was in the final year of my drama degree when I decided to work with a drama therapist that I first became enthralled with the potential of working with people in a creative setting. I qualified as a drama therapist in 1993 and then 6 years later focused my work as a freelance community artist and worked in arts in health settings until 2012. I’ve had wonderful opportunities: completing a puppetry apprenticeship in the Czech Republic, running long-term community theatre projects with older people and people with mental health issues in Bristol, working on the millennium procession for a Maori community in Napier, New Zealand, delivering arts projects in Romania. Sarah and I worked together, with several young carers, on the Twin Sails Bridge Opening in Poole. My most recent work has been as Arts Practitioner with the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. I am struck by the richness that, time allowed, each creative encounter with individuals and groups can have, and how this impacts on wider communities. I hope to bring skills and joy in creating to the wonderful world of Emerald Ant!”