Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communication

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

Nick Cass

Lecturer in Heritage and Contemporary Art, UG Admissions Tutor

Room 3.02, School of Fine Art

Office hours: By appointment

BA (Hons) Sculpture, PGCE Junior Education, MA Contemporary Fine Art Practice, PhD Museum Studies

  • Nick’s primary interest lies at the conjunction of museums, heritage and contemporary art practice; this stems from his interdisciplinary background as an artist and museum education officer.


Nick is an artist and lecturer. He has extensive exhibiting and teaching experience in a wide range of contexts.  He has worked for Leeds Museums and Galleries and the Royal Armouries as an Education Officer; He has also worked freelance for a variety of museums in the north of England including Tate Gallery Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and Hull Museums.

Prior to teaching at Leeds University, Nick was Second Year Tutor on BA Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art and Design.

Research Interests

  • contemporary art in museum and heritage spaces
  • museum and gallery education

Nick’s art practice inhabits a perceptual space between sculpture and collage, and draws influence from both traditional printmaking techniques and contemporary technologies.


Nick currently teaches/supervises:

  • Introduction to Museum and Gallery Studies
  • Exhibitions, Curatorship and Audiences
  • BA and MA dissertations

Research Projects & Grants


Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience, AHRC.

New work/professional development funding, Arts Council, Yorkshire

Funding award for curatorial project ’3rd Person’, North West Arts Board, Manchester
Funding award for curatorial project ’3rd Person’, Manchester City Council

Research Centres & Groups

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, Co-Director

External Appointments

2006 – 2010 Trustee of ‘Stretch’ – Widening Participation Charity, York

2002 – 2005 Board Member – Leeds Arts Partnership, Leeds Initiative/Leeds City Council, Leeds

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Tom Poultney

Shifting Fields of Creative Production and Consumption – The increasing conceptualisation of folk art in post-internet culture

PhD Thesis

Contemporary Art and Heritage
Interventions at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

In this thesis I examine the Contemporary Arts Programme at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, with a particular focus on the commissioning and installation of artwork in the period interior of the museum. Reading the work of Paula Rego, Cornelia Parker, Su Blackwell, Charlotte Cory and Catherine Bertola through the literature of heritage and dialogical aesthetics, I seek to map the unexplored liminal territory between the Brontë Parsonage Museum as ‘shrine’ and the contemporary art installations as ‘intervention’. The purpose, through following a trajectory which has its origin in what Malinowski described as ‘foreshadowed problems’, has been to produce a rich account of the ways in which art and heritage practices intersect. A reflexive ethnographic stance, in which the process has developed through and in, rather than prior to, the research process, acknowledges my own position as artist, museum educator and academic, engaged with a particular site where I have used visitor comment books and semi structured interviews with artists, staff and visitors to produce this account. This stance acknowledges that writing about art is itself a creative practice and should not be seen as existing as an independent, external addition; to be so, it would remain a ‘shadow’ of that which it describes. Instead, it is my purpose to map the complexity of these installations as points of reference in the broader topology of heritage practice and contemporary art to demonstrate that they are not reducible to the paradigmatic arguments which are used to describe their existence within the museum space. Often characterised as ‘social outreach, public relations, economic development and art tourism’, I argue it is more productive to consider these ‘interventions’ as dialogic heritage, both in order to understand their ‘affective’ role in the process of interpreting the legacy of the Brontës, and to understand ways in which they address visitor experience.

Professional Practice

Current and forthcoming events


December 2012 – February 2013: Wildness Between Lines, Leeds College of Art, Leeds

January – February 2013: Visions of Angria, Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds

January 2013: Conference: ReVisioning the Brontës, Brotherton Library, Leeds University, Leeds


Solo exhibitions


Flatworks, South Square Gallery, Thornton, Bradford. Supported by the Arts Council.

Museum, Salford University, Salford


Group exhibitions

Melange, Leeds Met Gallery, Harvey Nichols, Leeds

Badigloolust, Royal Standard, Liverpool

On Your Wall, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds

Salon (Doppelgänger), Torhaus Gallery, Dortmund

195 Miles, PSL (Project Space Leeds), Leeds

Salon 2008, East Street Arts, Leeds

Separations, Spacia Arts, Leeds

On Your Wall, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds

Artists Show, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds

From the Ordinary, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds

New Art North West, Cornerhouse, Manchester

New Contemporaries, ICA, London and national tour



‘ Drawing Shed’ for PSL at No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London


Public commissions

Junction, Leeds Met Gallery & The Culture Company, Leeds


Selected Projects/Workshops

Tutor and Adviser delivering Arts Award for Young Offenders, Discovery Centre, Leeds

Into the Garden – sculpture project for adults with mental health difficulties, Temple Newsam House, Leeds

Exploring Sculpture in the Curriculum Staff INSET training, Oak Tree School, Wakefield

Adventures in Three Dimensions – sculpture project for adults with mental health difficulties., City Art Gallery, Leeds

Castle Building, Wakefield MDC Cultural Services, Pontefract Castle

Testbed 3, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds

Using the Sculpture Collection – InSET Course for Teachers, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

INSITU – sculpture workshops for Situation Leeds, Artforms – Education Leeds, Leeds

Adventures in Three Dimensions – sculpture workshops, City Art Gallery, Leeds

Great Art Adventure, Tate Gallery, Liverpool


“When is a Chair not a Chair?”, Manchester City Art Gallery & Stretford Grammar School



© Copyright Leeds 2018