June 2021 – July 2022
Maddi Nicholson is an artist who specialises in working with people and place. Her interest is in communities: communities of people, of objects, of interest, of life – and the choices and allegiances that one makes.
From June 2021 to July 2022, Maddi Nicholson will be a Visiting Artist at Milton Keynes Arts Centre, working with local people to delve beneath preconceptions of buildings, and the people who live or lived in them, to explore what ‘home’ subjectively means to each of us.
In 2019, Maddi Nicholson first visited Milton Keynes and says:
“Over the past few years I have been investigating perceptions of place, class and status that are embedded in particular structures, especially northern working class terraces, public and civic buildings, animal and agricultural structures and homes of all types.
I was particularly interested in the buildings of Milton Keynes Arts Centre, and the grounds of Great Linford Manor Park: the Schoolhouse and Almshouses, built by William Pritchard in 1696; twin stable pavilions; and the Radcliffe building; their perceived grandeur and status, however untrue, in comparison with some of the ‘modern’ 1970s estate housing surrounding the Arts Centre and in the outlying areas around Milton Keynes.”
Photograph by Maddi Nicholson
In May 2022, Maddi Nicholson returns to Milton Keynes. Alongside MK artists Ciara Callaghan and Alondene Phillips, she will be working in the areas of Beanhill and Netherfield in establishing a residents’ group to support the next stage of her ‘Home’ project.
Do you live in Beanhill or Netherfield?
Would you be interested in organising art projects and activities in your neighbourhood?
If so, we want to hear from you.
You are invited to come and meet Maddi Nicholson in Netherfield Community Garden (Alphabet Park) on Saturday 21 May from 12–4pm. There will be free badge making activities and refreshments throughout the afternoon, as well as further information about the proposed project. We look forward to meeting you then.
Maddi Nicholson: Home is supported by Milton Keynes Community Foundation
Your Own 3D Paper House
Download these artist-designed templates of a Milton Keynes house as a fun activity to do at home. Decorate your house with pictures, words and symbols which celebrate your identity and the place you live.
Click here to download all five templates
Don’t have a printer? Don’t worry!
We’ll have plenty of house templates and drawing materials in our gallery for everyone to use. If you’re stopping by Great Linford Manor Park for a walk or picnic, why not drop in and get making over a cup of tea.
Limited Edition Milton Keynes house
£12 each + P&P
or complete set of five for £50
A limited edition series of fabric Milton Keynes houses created by the artist, Maddi Nicholson, with the people of Milton Keynes for the project, Home. Each fabric pattern gives you instructions to follow to create your own home.
Each signed and numbered, edition of 105.
Home by Maddi Nicholson – Exhibition tour
28 September – 2 October 2021
In June 2021, Maddi Nicholson invited the people of Milton Keynes to take her for a series of walks: to show her their neighbourhoods and to tell her about the things they liked and didn’t like about where they lived. The artist was taken around areas including Great Linford, Eaglestone, Netherfield and Beanhill. She became particularly fascinated with the distinct architectural designs characterising houses in each of these areas and, in July, she returned to work with local school and community groups to make over 100 miniature houses based on five designs.
This miniature housing estate then went on tour across Milton Keynes in September 2021alongside a 5 metre high inflatable sculpture of a typical terraced house from Maddi Nicholson’s home town, Barrow-in-Furness. The tour comprised exhibitions in Beanhill, Netherfield, Great Linford and Central Milton Keynes, with each exhibition associated by events and activities designed by and for local residents. Limited editions house-making packs were also created to sell, with 50% of the proceeds going back into the areas on which the designs were based.
Maddi Nicholson continues working with Milton Keynes Arts Centre in 2022; more information coming soon.
With special thanks to participants from Great Linford Primary School, Moorland Primary School, Moorland Family Centre, The Little Bookshop and MacIntyre MK for their help making up the miniature fabric houses which toured alongside Maddi Nicholson’s work Going Home from Here (2009).
Home with Maddi Nicholson
From June 2021, Maddi will be working with local people to
delve beneath preconceptions of buildings, and the people who live or lived in
them, to explore what ‘home’ subjectively means to each of us.
Supported with funding from Arts Council England