Nicola Naismith

Nicola Naismith

  • Lerwick and Scalloway

    ZE1 0PX

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Nicola Naismith’s research interests include topics of autonomy, precarity, social mobility and the meritocracy myth, first generation experience, work, the workplace and rest. Most recently she has been exploring the working conditions and support structures of creative practitioners working in arts, health and social practice contexts. Nicola creates visual artworks, talks, writing and events both independently and with national partners. 

Research Expertise

Nicola was the Visual Artist Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2017/18 where she undertook cultural leadership development through the lens of a freelance creative practitioner. Through funding she secured from the AHRC via Core Leadership in 2018 and 2020 to work with supervisor Dr Chris Fremantle to undertake two research studies - Artists Practising Well (2019) and Practising Well: Conversations & Support Menu (2021).

Across these two studies she used literature reviews, a survey, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with stakeholders. The first study focused on investigating affective support which relates to the moods, feelings and attitudes connected to the work (Naismith 2019). In the second she added instrumental support (contracts, pay, inductions, resources) and explored the relationship between both kinds of support within the context of Covid-19 working conditions (Naismith 2021). In 2019 the picture of support was inconsistent, with some creative practitioners receiving good support while others were receiving little or none. By 2021 the impact of the pandemic on freelance working patterns and a continued lack of consistent quality support led to my making a series of recommendations which included a need to update grant guidance to include support costs, and the need for a collaborative approach to developing support initiatives.

Teaching Expertise

Nicola leads modules in Professional Practice, and Reflective and ethical practice for the online MA Art and Social Practice programme. She also supports other programme modules through tutorials and summative assessment. 

Grants / Funding

Artists Practising Well (2018-19) AHRC funding via Clore Leadership

Practising Well: Conversations and Support Menu (2020-2021) AHRC funding via Clore Leadership 

House of Naismith (2021-2022) Arts Council England

Education/Academic qualification

Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching for HE, Anglia Ruskin University

1 Sept 20051 Jul 2006

Award Date: 1 Jul 2006

Master of Arts, Textile Culture, Norwich University of the Arts

1 Oct 20021 Oct 2003

Award Date: 1 Oct 2003

Bachelor of Arts, Art in the Community, Oxford Brookes University

1 Sept 20011 Jul 2002

Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

Higher National Diploma in Design Craft, Norwich University of the Arts

1 Sept 19931 Jul 1995

Award Date: 1 Jul 1995


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  • 1 Similar Profiles
  • Artists Practising Well

    Naismith, N., 31 Mar 2019, 51 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

    Open Access
    29 Downloads (Pure)