The Blog and Archive of artist Nicola Winstanley



Nicola Winstanley is a socially engaged artist who seeks to explore the relationship between participatory arts, perceptions of place and community action. By forging new relationships between art, people and place, Nicola believes that art practice can have a lasting effect on communities. She is particularly interested in engaging people who have no arts background and finding ways for art practice to improve their quality of life.

With a background in 2D and 3D public art, Nicola has collaborated internationally with artists, makers and members of the public to make work that engages the public at large in art practices, for this she often works in partnership with artist Sarah Nadin as Winstanley & Nadin. She has most recently been working solo alongside academic researchers to evaluate the impact of ‘place’ on individuals and communities. Nicola has 7 years workshop and public consultation experience, as well as having designed and managed large scale public art projects.

Current areas of interest for Nicola are looking at the impact of artists on the gentrification process and researching how this pernicious but predictable cultural and economic shift manifests, in order to ward off its most damaging effects in the future of Stoke-on-Trent. She is also interested in how artist can operate in a more meaningful way in Stoke-on-Trent, particularly in promoting the usefulness of artists’ work and demystifying their motives and processes. Alongside this she is hoping to advocate for artists’ involvement in local regeneration plans, particularly in town planning, public spaces and social housing.

Creative Research

Sept ’15 ‘Counterplay’ Action research project aiming to facilitate collaboration between artists and businesses in Stoke-on-Trent’s Cultural Quarter.

May ’14 ‘Reconnecting People with Art in the Public Realm’ Independent study report commissioned by Appetite Stoke.

Creative Consultation and Evaluation

May ’16 ‘The Wedgwood Institute’ Creative Evaluation and consultation for The Prince’s Regeneration Trust to identify new practical purposes for the Grade II listed building.

Feb ’16 ‘You Are Here Research and Evaluation’ Examining participant engagement and it’s impact on creative outcomes for performance company ‘Restoke’.

Mar ’15 ‘Airspace 2013-15 evaluation’ Evaluating the practice and impact of Airspace Gallery’s programme of activities between 2013-15

Sept ’14-16 ‘Get Talking’ Residency with Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent. Public consultation, tool development and creative evaluation of the Appetite programme of cultural events.

Jul ’14 ‘Caring Cards’ Set of illustrated cards designed to help artists design participatory projects around understanding, empathy and compassion. In collaboration with Staffordshire University

May ’14 ‘Staffordshire University CCU Cultural Value Project’ Research participant in project examining the role of art in relation to compassion, empathy and understanding to link distant communities.


Sept ’16 ACAVA Spode Works Studios residency ‘Is Art Work? Does Art Work? Mapping impact in Stoke.

Feb ’16 ‘In our own Image’ 9 months residency in Stoke Town to explore the artist’s role in community life.

Sept ’10 ‘Elsewhere’ One month creative residency in a Living Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.

Public Art

Dec ’12 ‘UNEARTHED’ Stainless steel 6.8mx7m. commemorative sculpture and year long mass participation project, Stoke-On-Trent City Centre.


Associate of The Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies at Staffordshire University.