Nicola Ashmore's research interests focus on artistic interventions and curatorial practice, notably the means through which this can leverage collaborative activism.
She has made use of film documentary and digital technology as methodologies, investigating museum practices, community artists and collaborative practices. She is currently researching remakings of Picasso's Guernica.
Nicola Ashmore's interest in Pablo Picasso's Guernica was inspired by her participation in a collective remaking of Picasso's Guernica as a protest banner. In 2015 Nicola received Rising Stars funding through the University of Brighton which enabled the international research project: Remakings of Picasso’s Guernica: Community, Collaboration and Activism. This has lead on to a major research project: Guernica Remakings, South Africa which investigates the practice of cross-cultural translation through making. This project has received funding through the AHRC Translating Cultures and Care for the Future International Development call funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, UK.
Ashmore completed her PhD at the University of Brighton in 2011. Her doctoral studies span art and museum practices post 1997 and focus on the commissioning of source community artists to work with ethnographic museum collections. This interdisciplinary study locates this commissioning practice within the then dominant politics of cultural diversity.
Whilst studying for her practice-led PhD part-time, Ashmore co-produced eight documentary videos on Brighton and Hove's Connecting Initiative which brought interdisciplinary artists and secondary school pupils together (2005-06). She carried out qualitative research on the Arts Council England, South East's regeneration funding scheme Art at the Centre, which used public art to develop towns and cities (2004).
From 2003 to 2009 Ashmore worked in Brighton's digital media sector with Plug-in Media animation company (2006-2009) and with Wired Sussex the regional development agency for digital media (2003 - 2007).
Dr Ashmore has lectured at the University of Brighton since 2007 in the History of Art and Design.
Ashmore, Nicola (2017) Guernica Remakings Nicola Ashmore, Brighton. ISBN 9781999741907
Ashmore, Nicola (2017) Guernica remakings: action, collaboration and thread Textile, 15 (4). pp. 376-395. ISSN 1475-9756
Rajguru, Megha and Ashmore, Nicola (2016) Indian Living Cultures: Collected, Exhibited and Performed In: Farrelly, Liz and Weddell, Jo, eds. Design objects and the museum. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781472577238
Ashmore, Nicola (2015) Commissioning artists: community engagement, ethnographic collections and changes in curatorial practices from the 1990s to 2000s in the UK Museum History Journal, 8 (1). pp. 59-72. ISSN 1936-9824
Ashmore, Nicola and Rajguru, Megha (2014) Remaking Picasso's Guernica as a banner In: Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth, V&A Museum, London, 29-30 November 2013.
Ashmore, Nicola (2011) Making for Museums, Commissioning Living Cultures: 'A study of the 'Hindu Shrine' project at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the 'Rekindle' video series at Manchester Museum, Manchester University' Journal of Museum Ethnography, 24. pp. 89-109. ISSN 0954–7169
Ashmore, Nicola (2011) Art and identity: interpretation and ethnographic collections in regional museums, Britain, 1997-2010 Doctoral thesis, University of Brighton.
Articles in books