Nicola Naismith

As a visual artist with over 20 years experience I explore topics of labour, the workplace and value through self initiated collaborations and working to commission. I create visual artworks, talks, writing and events which explore the importance of context and connection in both art making and leadership practice.

How the Fellowship impacted me

The subtitle of my Clore Fellowship was The Autonomous Artist. It took the form of a series of reflective and exploratory writings where I processed my Clore learning and considered the role and identify of the Artist Leader, what barriers they face, where the opportunities are and what they might need to practice well. My Fellowship has helped me to knock on doors I didn’t think were for me and to knock with confidence. I now seek to ‘get into room’ as an Artist Leader so I can contribute to decision making conversations whilst encouraging others to do the same.

How I am using my skills for change

One way for artists to contribute to leadership conversations about strategy, policy and improvements to pay and working conditions of artists is through governance. Through writing resources for a-n, The Artists Information Company who supported my fellowship, I am encouraging artists to explore board membership and becoming a trustee as a way of influencing and contributing to decision making conversations.

Through AHRC and Clore funded research I am highlighting the levels of support creative practitioners receive when working in the field of arts for health and wellbeing and recommending ways in which their own health and wellbeing can be protected.