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Our Programme

This is Nelson 

This partnership programme between In-Situ, Building Bridges and Super Slow Way is taking place over the next 3 years, bringing artists to help us re-imagine Nelson, open up underused spaces, think sustainably and support ground-up community activism in the town. The overall aim to our approach is to embed art and artist's processes into civic decision making, for greater democratic engagement and to amplify and support community interests. This is with a radical intention for transparency, equality and sustainability. This is Nelson is part of the Nelson Town Deal programme. 
5. Foraging Walk. Photo by Kristina Borg.jpg

It's Nelson Init

The This is Nelson youth group are now meeting every Tuesday evening upstairs at 3B-Systems in a pop up space they co-designed and made with RESOLVE Collective. 

Over a 3 month period together they thought about safe space, sustainable materials and social issues relevant to them here in Nelson. They created the interventions in the space from local sourced reused and salvaged materials. The space has loads of hanging forms as well as places to sit, read, play music or hide out. In the coming months the group will continue t work with RESOLVE as their mentors to programme the space.  

Its Nelson Init Image: Diane Muldowney

Future of Work

Continuing a long term project developed with In-Situ and students at Nelson and Colne College, artist Andy Abbott uses VR technology and play to support young people to consider options for their future work, whilst also considering the sustainability of work in Pendle way into the future, and options for how we might approach the labour market and pay differently. 

Future of Work Image: Diane Muldowney

Pendle Festival of Culture 

Now in its 6th year, Pendle Festival of Culture is being developed as part of This is Nelson. This year we are partnering with National Festival of Making to co-commission a festival arch for the entrance to both festivals, working with Dualworks.

This year's festival is on Saturday 29th June in Nelson town centre, and will feature the usual array of food, live music, dancing and performance, stalls and Talkaoke. The festival begins with welcoming the arrival of the Peace Walks; two banner processions walking from opposite directions along the canal and symbolically meeting in Nelson. 

Nelson Festival of Culture 2023 Image: Diane Muldowney

To find out about joining the peace walks
contact Aaminah 

Nelson Re-Imagined 

The artist-led strand of This is Nelson, artist-producer Andy Abbott invites artists to undertake live action research residencies in the town in response to key themes, including neighbourhoods, food growing, disused spaces. These projects involve local residencies in explorations of new possibility for the town as well as sustaining ground-up activity that is already happening. 

These residencies take place alongside a talks programme that brings visiting artists and speakers in dialogue with local experts. 

Nelson Re-imagined Image: Diane Muldowney

First Play Response Unit

Part of Nelson-Re-Imagined, artist Hwa Young is thinking about the role of play in civic life. She has come to Nelson with an invitation to local residents to join in forming a 'play response unit'; like the volunteer fire service but for play. Through sessions and workshops in venues around town, play forms a point of meeting and opens up a different public space with different rules and possibilities. 
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Image: Hwa Young

Nelson Overheard

Over the past few months, artists Rob St John and Tommy Perman have been inviting local people to get involved in researching and recording soundscapes of the lesser known parts of Nelson to create a sound map of the town. The sound map is now live but you can continue to upload your phone recordings of sound in overlooked or underused spaces in the town. This research project is part of Nelson-Re-Imagined. 

Image: Rob St John and Tommy Perman


A series of window commissions for Nelson Town Centre featuring work of local artists. Poet Aijaz Quereshi has created a book of poems dedicated to the town where he grew up, published by Pednle Press and displayed large in the window of Nelson Library.

Going up soon in the library window, Aamina Desai's 'In Bloom' takes direct inspiration from the incredible variety of plants, flowers and foliage grown in Nelson's very own allotments through Garden Able and The Good Life Project.

Ajaz Quereshi installation at Nelson Library

Image: Diane Muldowney

Hodge House Allotments

Grow with us! Along with partner organisations including The Good Life Project, we are thinking about what a Food Strategy* might look like for Nelson. 

We are re-activating an allotment site at Hodge House Community Centre and are running sessions about nutrition and herbalism, to learn about the many different uses of local plants. 

* A Food Strategy is a co-authored action plan to improve the healthand wellbeing of local people, which values the knowledge ofeveryone: whether your relationship to food is professional (forexample, you run a catering business) or personal (you cook for your family at home).

Dana Olarescu, Experimental Food Festival Image: Diane Muldowney

Contact Aaminah for more info

Hillo Hub

Hillo Hub has been recently established in Nelson with a group of women in response to a local need for a space for women to prioritise their own health and wellbeing.

The hub has created a manifesto of shared values. Activities range from cycling and teaching women to ride bikes and then become bike leaders, walking, running and addressing issues such as chronic pain, menopause and women’s health through connecting to nature and creativity. 
Contact Zoya for more info 

Climate Conversations 

How can we hold space for people to come together to learn and also share and process their feelings about climate change? We are hosting a series of Climate Fresks* and Talkaoke conversations around Pendle, and gathering a picture of barriers to climate action and engagement through audio documentation and commissioned writing from the community.

Lead by thinking around climate psychology, this programme has been co-developed by In-Situ and climate educator and activist Tom Deacon and is funded by Pendle Borough Council as part of Pendle at 50. 

* Climate Fresks were developed by a University professor in France, as a way of making simpler for his students the hefty ICC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. Cutting out the report's main graphics, he asked the students to sort these into cause and effect. This has now developed as an open source activity takes groups on a journey starting with basic human activities like building and eating, slowly unfolding a picture of where we are heading. Millions of people around the world arnow taking part in Climate Fresks.

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In-Residence: Ellie Barrett and Nora (2 yrs)

Our most recent artist residency in Brierfield was with Ellie Barrett and her pre-school daughter, Nora, working to introduce creative play between parents and their toddlers at local play groups. Working in our project space, Ellie and Nora worked and played experimentally with everyday materials that can be bought at the supermarket, creating 'bundles' (pictured) and also a toolkit for sculptural creative play. 

Image: Ellie Barrett

Read texts by Ellie Barrett and Anna Taylor, about the artist and the organsiation's experiences of this mother-child residency

International Residency: Nelson / Islamabad

In-Situ is collaborating with Islamabad based collective Art of Small Talk to develop an international group residency for artists and practitioners, supported by the British Council. 

In September 2024 In-Situ will take two selected local artists to spend a week working with a group in Islamabad to explore language and intergenerational relationships across geographic locations. Work made will then be brought to Nelson for exhibition at Nelson Library.

Image: Art of Small Talk

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