People of Wellington Place: Nicole Regine

Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…

Spring is finally here, and as we happily welcome longer days and warmer weather, we are also bringing a change to the art installation in the window of 11 Wellington Place.

Our Artist’s Window initiative, set up in partnership with Leeds Art University, aims to support budding local talent in the arts industry. The project provides students with a real-life opportunity to showcase their work in the heart of Leeds city centre.

We are pleased to welcome artwork from Nicole Regine, a Leeds Art University Visual Communication graduate. Photographs of Nicole’s sculpture, ‘This.’, will be displayed until early June.

Nicole explains more about her artwork below.

What’s the name of your art piece and can you tell us about it?

My sculpture piece is called ‘This.’ It is based on the theme of safe space, and how they can exist both physically and abstractly, as a group of people, or even a conversation.

The sculpture is made from cement, a word play on the concrete support that makes up your safe space. The polyurethane foam is a representation of people coming in and out of it.

What’s the inspiration behind your art piece?

I was inspired by my personal experiences.  I moved to the UK from Malaysia to study in Leeds, which brought about a unique set of challenges as I adjusted to life in a new country.

As a child, I always felt protected with my family and safe from the outside world. It did not occur to me that I would one day have to leave my safe space – home. I asked myself, what do you do if you can’t access your safe space physically? Can you recreate that space somewhere new?

I found a safe space in Leeds by holding conversations with communities that shared similar values to me, which helped me feel at home, even if I was miles away from my physical home. With this piece, I aim to share the message of growth and how ‘This.’ can be your new safe space.

What’s your background in art and what inspired you to become an artist?

I’m a multidisciplinary designer passionate about art direction and storytelling in an array of mediums. My work is centred around imaginative concepts that go beyond the ordinary, with aims to provoke a sense of dream-like wonder in people.

I was inspired by surrealist artists that create magical worlds filled with whimsy such as Walt Disney, Salvador Dali, Shona Heath and MinaLima, to name a few.

What does it mean to you that your work is displayed at Wellington Place?

I’m incredibly honoured to say the least! It’s the first time I’ll be seeing my work displayed publicly so I’m ecstatic for the opportunity.

Throughout my time at university, I’ve realised what a difference it makes to have your work interacted with, rather than having it left hidden behind a computer screen. Seeing ‘This.’ featured at Wellington Place also holds particular significance for me as I deeply resonate with their commitment to community and sustainability.

What are your future plans?

My hope is to ultimately create work that inspires people to use their imagination and dream bigger. I would love to pursue set design and build immersive worlds for entertainment whilst digital freelancing on the side.

You can find more of Nicole’s work on Instagram or on her website.