Nikki Pugh

Exploring questions relating to how we perceive, move through and interact with our surroundings, Nikki Pugh harnesses various tools and techniques adopted from walking-based practices, guided tours, physical computing, locative media, pervasive gaming, installation and collaboration.

Specific areas of research interest currently include: the use of making, prototyping and participatory playtesting as tools for—and sites of—knowledge production; and investigating the relationship of her practice to Mobilities Studies, non-representational theory and human+technology+place assemblages.

Nikki’s website can be found by following this link:


Current Exhibitions and Projects

Lake District
September 2016-ongoing

Since September 2016, when Nicki was awarded a Visiting Fellowship by the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University, she and Dr Christopher Donaldson have been working together in the Lake District. They will “deep map” history and memory in the Duddon Valley, where the Geospatial Innovation research group’s work will also support the Wordsworth Trust to explore different ways of increasing public engagement with the works of William and Dorothy Wordsworth.

In addition to featuring in the work of the Wordsworths, the Duddon Valley was home to prehistoric and Roman remains, medieval longhouses, and ancient farming communities. It has a strong industrial past (mills, quarrying and an iron furnace) and nowadays attracts tourists ranging from fell walkers and mountain bikes through to those taking a more leisurely approach to exploring the area.

Recent Exhibitions and Projects


Wolverhampton Art Gallery
1-9 October 2016
Monday – Saturday: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Following her residency at Wolverhampton School of Art, Orrery for Landscape, Sinew and Serendipity was exhibited alongside the MA degree show at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Orrery for Landscape, Sinew and Serendipity is an ongoing project that asks questions about the physical and emotional experiences of cycling. Working from the starting point that the tools we use tend to influence the way we think and talk about things, Nikki has made the Orrery as an alternative to dot-watching in order to use it as a prop for conversations about the tools we use already and how different tools might open up different avenues of thought.

A physical object with elements that are raised, rotated, rattled and illuminated, the Orrery is driven by the same GPS data as map-based tracking websites, but rather than showing us where the rider is, how far they have gone and how fast they are moving, it instead conveys something of the moment-to-moment experience of being on the bike. Here the Orrery is accompanied by audio from conversations between Nikki and Hannah Nicklin, Emily Chappell and Tina Tylen.

The Orrery replayed sections from the following rides:
Mark Chappell // Wind Farm and Wild Dogs. (1 hour 25 minutes)
Kajsa Tylen // Starting Out. (1 hour)
Emily Chappell // The Gradient and the Effort and Everything That’s Gone Before. (1 hour)
Hannah Nicklin // Horrible Horrible Rain and Wind. Freezing. (1 hour)

Duke Studios, Leeds
17 – 18 September 2016

Nikki spoke at Duke studio about Orrery for Landscape, Sinew and Serendipity at Pedalling Ideas – a whole weekend of cycling related food-for-thought as a fundraiser for St Gemma’s Hospice.

“The inaugural Pedalling Ideas is bringing together an eclectic collection of speakers providing inspiration about life on two wheels, a collection of personal stories and journeys inspired by people’s love of the bicycle and where it can take us. […] Pedalling Ideas will bring these stories together through a weekend of inspiring, interesting and entertaining talks that celebrate the ride.”

See the list of speakers by following this link.

Birmingham Open Media
21 August 2016

In an event at Birmingham Open Media, Nikki discussed with sociologist Kat Jungnickel and athlete and writer Emily Chappell. This free event was an explortion of understanding-through-doing and the similarities and differences in each of their working processes.

Read more about this and The Orrery on Nikki’s blog.

13 – 15 July 2016

Nikki was a keynote speaker at the Playful Learning space. Playful Learning is pitched at the intersection of learning and play for adults. Playful in approach and outlook, yet underpinned by robust research and working practices, we’ll be providing a space where teachers, researchers and students can play, learn and think together.

Warwick Arts Centre
9.30am – 6pm, 10 June 2016

Nikki was one of four mentors working with the fellows appointed to this year’s Random String programme from Ludic Rooms. Through their fellowships, six artists (including Jo Roberts) explored “how technology might make their work more interactive, develop a more meaningful relationship with audiences or explore future notions of co-creation and participatory practice”. Further information about the line-up is available here and tickets can be booked by following this link.

Until June 2016

Nikki was one of ten artists in residency at the Wolverhampton School of Art.

May 2016

Nikki wass one of 4 artists who have been commissioned by Coventry Transport Museum to respond to their collections. The commissions are to spend 10 days on research and development for a larger proposal that the museum may then choose to take forward later in the year.

November – February 2016

Two of Nikki’s prototype creatures from the Colony project were commissioned by The Lowry for exhibition in Right Here, Right Now; a showcase of contemporary art relating to digital systems and cultures.

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