Ella is a third-year PhD Candidate at Northumbria University, under the supervision of Dr Claudine van Hensbergen. Her doctoral research focuses on the representation of female artists within regional art galleries from c.1970 to the present day. Ella’s thesis is a Northern Bridge AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, in collaboration with the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Her research interests include:

  • L.S. Lowry
  • Twentieth-century European art
  • Regional art galleries
  • Regions as artistic ecosystems
  • Freedom of expression and speech
  • Curatorial anxiety
  • Community and British identity expressed through art
  • Contemporary art

Recent publications include:

  • Ella Nixon, “‘Expanded Interiors: Restaged’: An alternative exhibition guide”, GEM Case Studies Young People 28 (2022).
  • Ella Nixon, “The Spiritual in the Abstract: Gillian Ayres’ Papua (1988)”, Tyne and Wear Archives (TWAM) (2021).
  • Ella Nixon, “Girl in Blue”, in Picture Article Meet the Artists: Challenging Convention (Exhibition Guide), Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (2021).
  • Ella Nixon, “Going to Work (1943) (At Home): A reflection on isolation through the work of L.S. Lowry”, Art in Isolation (2021).

For a full academic CV, please contact Ella directly.


  • British Art Network
  • Northumbria University
  • The Laing Art Gallery
  • The Women’s Art Collection (Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge)
  • Free Speech Champions
  • Trinity Forum
  • Paul Mellon Centre