NN Associates

NN Associates is a tailored Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme for artists and creatives at any stage in their career. Participants gain hands-on, sector-specific and wider employability skills within a leading contemporary arts organisation that can help individuals forge a career path within the arts, cultural and creative industries.

NN Contemporary Art (NNCA) operates the programme from our offices and artist studio community complex in the heart of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter, with guidance and support from experienced NNCA staff members. Participants are encouraged to grow their professional network and to develop specific arts-related interests in-situ at NNCA, an Arts Council England (ACE) accredited National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).

Each year the NN Associates curriculum is devised by an experienced arts and culture professional and for 2023 the programme will be led by Simon Wright. Simon is an independent creative producer with over 15 years’ experience designing and delivering multi-arts programmes, projects and commissions. He was previously Curator of Public Programmes at MK Gallery, and is a co-founder of Pooleyville, a multi-disciplinary creative agency that works with a range of commercial, cultural and community partners. In 2017, he co-founded the Outlands Network – a commissioning body and national network specialising in experimental music and interdisciplinary performance – which is now also an NPO organisation. 

At NNCA Simon recently curated and programmed several critically-acclaimed projects as part of our Sensing Place programme, which included significant artist commissions with RESOLVE CollectiveMusarc, and Joe Moss

Through a mix of supporting NNCA’s live performance events, researching new projects, archiving, and attending guest artist talks, NNCA is committed to helping create opportunities for our Associates to pursue careers in the arts or open up routes and avenues to becoming future cultural producers and creatives. The training and skills development embedded within the programme will prepare participants for seeking and securing employment, and NNCA will provide guidance throughout the scheme.

The NN Associates programme is made up of five key development pathways:

Mentorship: Each participant is supported by a professional mentor, in 2023 this is Simon Wright, to ensure that they can contextualise their learning and implement actions that will support pathways into further employment, training or education in the creative sector.

Industry and employment knowledge: Participants are able to extend this knowledge of career opportunities, pathways and routes into employment through networking with and talks from artists and industry professionals.

Practical skills development: Hands-on experience that develops skills and knowledge that can be transferred into employment and personal development.

Self-managed development projects: Participants undertake self-managed projects, supported by a mentor that facilitates training and skills development.

Placement activity: Focused placement activity to develop a track record, a body of example work, employability skills and confidence.

:: Expectations for Potential Candidates ::

Each participant within the programme will be expected to undertake a minimum of 30 hours development, equating to approximately three hours per week.  This is a combination of organised sessions and self-managed time so the programme can work flexibly for you.   

The programme is open to any person living in Northampton or within a nearby commutable distance to Northampton, as participants will be required to come in-person to the NNCA office. 

We offer reasonable travel and lunch expenses for each participant, materials needed to participate in the programme, and equipment where necessary. 

Note that this programme is intended for people looking to develop their careers in the arts and culture sectors.

:: 2023 Curriculum Overview ::

Setting personal goals for the programme: undertake a development session with your mentor to talk about yourself and find out more about your interests. Learn more about developing careers, applications and networks in the arts to kickstart a career path.

Develop your own self-managed projects to explore more of what you want to do and contribute to the gallery programme. With a particular focus on helping to shape the Civic Reading Room programme in 24 Guildhall Road in Northampton (our new home!).

Work as part of the NNCA team to get a better understanding of roles within the arts and develop your skills. This includes volunteering at forthcoming events/exhibitions and some desk-based research and archival work. 

:: 2023 Programme Events and Projects ::

Diasporas Now 23/24 Tour 
Diasporas Now is a platform for expanded performance art by the Global Majority. Supported by Arts Council England, they are undertaking a UK tour in 2023/24. As one of the tour partners, NNCA will be staging a live performance event on the 2nd November featuring artists drawn from a national open call. 

Northamptonshire Black History Digital Archive 
The Northamptonshire Black History Digital Archives is a project developed by NNCA in partnership with the Northamptonshire Black History Association involving a digitalisation of the archival material assembled by the Association and three artist residencies responding to it. The project will provide a platform for preservation and analysis of the historically significant material documenting past Black histories in the region and facilitate the creation of artistic research relating to the contemporary experience of Black communities.

David Panos – Gothic Revival 
Panos has been commissioned to produce a new audiovisual work as part of the Sensing Place programme. Entitled Gothic Revival, the work explores Northampton through its physical, social and political landscape with a particular focus on the persistence/importance of musical subcultures (Goth) in regional towns. 

Giles Round – Civic Reading Room 
Round is an artist who works across disciplines including art, design and architecture. Round’s works often takes the form of long-term, open-ended projects in which exhibitions themselves become the medium. An ongoing work, ‘The Art Direction of the Noguchi Museum’ (2018–) is an inquiry into the role an artist might play as an embedded part of institutional and design teams, but also of society’s infrastructures and organisations at large. NNCA have commissioned Round to design a new Civic Reading Room space that comprises a community kitchen, reading room, café-bar and co-working and learning hub at 24 Guildhall Road in Northampton’s Cultural Quarter. 

:: How to Apply ::

To apply please complete the application form HERE. The deadline for applications is Friday 13rd October 2023 at midnight UK time. Candidates will be contacted once applications have been assessed. 

:: Frequently Asked Questions ::

Who is the NN Associates programme for?
It is aimed for artists and creatives at any stage in their career.

When will the programme take place?
The 2023 NN Associates programme will take place between October 2023 and February 2024.

How do I apply?
For the 2023-24 programme, complete the application form by Friday 13th October 2023. We will then notify you if you have been accepted onto the programme and send you further details.

Can I apply if I don’t currently work in the arts or cultural sectors?
Absolutely! The programme is designed for emerging and aspiring artists and creatives so whether you currently work in the arts or cultural sector or are hoping to soon, this programme will hopefully allow you to learn vital skills and gain confidence.

NN Associates

Corissa Duhra

Toby Kilby-Pollard

Richard Harrison

Michelle Woolley

Bill Pollard

Ruby Fellows

Lorna Swannell

NN Associates

Euphoria Scargill

A recent fashion graduate, Euphoria changed her name for the first time at 16 years old. Since then, taking control of identity has been a recurring theme in her work, as well as the way in which humans choose to define and present identities. In her final year of university, Euphoria created a series based around body modification and manipulation, themes she may explore as part of her Associates project for NN.

Stephanie-Joy Shonhiwa

Originally an East Londoner, Stephanie-Joy is a mum of three who has been living in Northampton for the past 13 years. Stephanie got back into painting, photography and creating mixed media works recently and has joined the Associates programme to find new platforms, build new networks, learn about new ways of creating work and reach different audiences. She says about her practice: “Most of my pieces are about hope, freedom and being able to incorporate worship and colour”.

Phoebe Terry

Phoebe Terry is a comedian, filmmaker, and digital entrepreneur from Northamptonshire. Phoebe was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor whilst pursuing a career abroad and was advised to return to the UK for treatment. Phoebe moved to London where she was able to practice stand-up in clubs every night, she lived in a property guardianship and supported herself as a life model, and part-time playgroup assistant with occasional voiceover commercials.

NN Associates

A medium shot of Neeve, an NN Ambassador. They are white with wavy mid length blonde hair, wearing a checkered black and white top and black hoody. There is a red brick wall behind them.

Neeve Galvin

Neeve is an artist and is currently a second year student at the University of Northampton studying Fine Art: Painting and Drawing. She loves to paint and express herself. Her practice at the moment looks at Sculpture and the movement of expanded painting, where she looks at colour, form and sculptural collage. By taking part in this programme Neeve hopes to grow her confidence and to learn the key aspects of funding and the business side of the art world.

A medium shot of Harshita, an NN Ambassador. Harshita is wearing a light pink jumper and is smiling at the camera. There is a red brick wall behind Harshita.

Harshita Garode

Harshita recently graduated from the UoN with a BA in Fine Arts, where her skills were professionally shaped to a level where she could be a part of exhibitions and work on commissions. In her practice, she examines the issues around feminism which takes a structured form and shape in terms of installations, printmaking, paintings and much more.

A photo of Thea, an NN Ambassador. Thea has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a bright red jumper with white lettering across it. Thea is photographed against a grey brick wall.

Thea Killeya

Thea studied for a Masters degree in Fine Art and has since been developing her skills and experience in illustration. She is interested in the way we record and experience visual information as well as the dichotomy between the beautiful and the mundane in our day to day lives.

A medium shot of Rhys, an NN Ambassador. Rhys is white with shoulder length brown hair, wearing a grey and white speckled jumper and is smiling at the camera. Rhys is standing with a grey brick wall behind him.

Rhys Bevan

Rhys previously worked in the wine industry and is currently teaching meditation online and in-person. He is creating a new practice that combines spoken word, mindfulness and art appreciation/creativity.

NN Associates

Helen Browse

Helen is a Mental Health First Aider and Wellbeing Champion who previously worked many years in the automotive industry.

Robyn Maclennan

Robyn Maclennan is an artist based in Northampton who explores the human connection to the landscape through printmaking. In her work, Robyn examines the concept of memory as a continuous cycle of forgetting and retrieval.

Jamie Gilliet

Jamie is a multi-instrumentalist with over 15 years of experience, also working with video, animation, programming and game production. In his experimental practice, Jamie incorporates new technology into live and studio projects to create work that ranges from silly and pointless to rigid and practical. He is also an inventor of NeuroHarp, a brainwave-controlled musical instrument.

Emoke Stefan

Emoke is currently a Fashion Design student at the University of Northampton. Em is interested in sustainability in fashion, cultural events and community-building through the arts. Through our NN Ambassadors programme, she hopes to gain more knowledge about contemporary art and gain experience working in creative industries.

Rebecca Dainty

Rebecca is a Northamptonshire-based photo artist and works exclusively in black and white. Her work focuses on the details present within the naturally occurring forms. Shapes, lines and textures that through a process of carefully crafted abstraction are transformed into intricate pattern designs.

NN Associates 2020

Daisy Jones

I am a recent Fine Art BA Hons Graduate and co-founder of the DEEP FAT FRIED Collective. My practice includes creating visionary colourful worlds through miniatures, set design and immersive installations. With DEEP FAT FRIED we host exhibitions and events, pushing the boundaries of the white cube.

Rosie May

Rosie May is an Illustrator & Maker based in Northampton, UK. Her practice focuses largely on the joys of the every day, using vibrant, painterly illustrations as a vehicle to challenge herself and others to savour life’s ordinary moments and consider a slower pace of more harmonious living.

Rebekah Calderwood

I’m a Graduate of Fine Art from The University of Lincoln. I’m currently working toward a career in the art world including education, Museums management and Art Law. Inspired by the memorialisation and intimacy that our daily lives may portray to us, I create a multidisciplinary practice.

Esosa Noruwa

My name is Esosa Noruwa. I am a recent Creative Computing and Creative Writing graduate with a deep desire to learn and grow. I enjoy creating digital content and in my spare time, I advocate for making fashion more sustainable through sharing my sense of style and selling vintage and secondhand clothes online.

Ria Wilson

Ria Wilson is an artist based in Northampton studying a BA in Fine art. Working in a variety of mediums, her work explores theories of hauntology and ontology, personal narratives and memory placed within a wider social context.

Agnieszka Julia Usarz

Agnieszka is an experienced English teacher passionate about neuroaesthetics, language, and art currently exploring meanders of Interior Design while completing a BTEC at the British Academy of Interior Design with the view to working in exhibition design and home staging. A keen cyclist, hiker, and globetrotter.

Rosemary Dery

I like to be informed and inform others, which translates into my art. The topics tend to surround politics, society and general injustices. Curation is where my interest lies, and the pursuit of creating an environment that relays a developing narrative as you progress through space, though still following social and political topics.

Sorina-Nicoleta Poclitaru

I am currently a 3rd-year Photography Student at the University of Northampton, interested in Fashion and Portrait Photography as well as Conceptual. I have been working with images for less than 5 years and I learn new things regularly.

Tara Smith

Tara is a photographer specialising in portraiture. Born and bred in Northamptonshire, Tara has worked on a variety of projects for clients such as Penguin, Schwarzkopf and Hello Magazine. When she's not in her studio, you're likely to find her on a hike with her pugs in tow.

Phoebe Mae Ellis

You can usually find me hunting for a bargain at a charity shop or listening to my guilty pleasure of George Michael. As an artist I mainly practice analogue photography, capturing still life, and hoping the film doesn’t come out blank.

Hannah Broughton

I am currently studying Fine Art at university. Since starting university, I have experimented with sculpture which I am enjoying. I am continuing to discover what engages me most. In my free time I enjoy drawing and craft as well as seeing my friends.

Georgia Watkins

I am an MA Fine art student from Bedford working mainly with print and photography. My practice is concerned with science and the intangible and I am particularly interested in natural history and astronomy and how they are explored through the visual.