From 1994-2019, Nicola was the founding Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Arts Catalyst, one of the UK’s most distinctive arts commissioning organisations, distinguished by ambitious artists’ commissions that experimentally and critically engage with science.
In her 25 years with Arts Catalyst, Nicola was responsible for commissioning more than 200 artists’ projects, including major new works by Tomas Saraceno, Aleksandra Mir, Ashok Sukumaran, Otolith Group, Critical Art Ensemble, Jan Fabre, Kira O’Reilly, Agnes Meyer-Brandis and Marko Peljhan, producing numerous exhibitions, events, performances and publications, collaborating with major arts, science and academic organisations in the UK and internationally.
Arts Catalyst’s commissions and exhibitions programme was underpinned by its research strand, which extended the traditional boundaries of art, intersecting with science, technology, politics, sociology, law, and publishing, and its programme of critical discussion events, talks and workshops.
Arts Catalyst’s many partners included Tate, John Hansard Gallery, BALTIC, Tramway, ICA, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Roundhouse, AV Festival, Resonance FM, FACT, Stills Gallery, Imperial College, UCL, Newcastle University, Scott Polar Research Institute, HMKV Dortmund, V2_Institute for the Unstable Media Rotterdam, transmediale Berlin, Projekt Atol Ljubljana, Srishti School of Art, Media & Design Bangalore, SymbioticA Perth Australia, Leonardo-OLATS, the Natural History Museum, Royal Institution of Great Britain, CERN, Wellcome Trust, Sadlers Wells, London Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, the Centre for Mountain Studies and the European Space Agency.