Nicola Hicks - Play Button

Born in London in 1960, she studied at Chelsea School of Art, and took her MA at the Royal College of Art. She has had major solo shows in leading museums and galleries in Britain and around the world, and has already been honoured with a MBE for her contribution to the visual arts.

Hicks' primary media are plaster and straw, and huge sheets of brown paper on which she works up her dynamic charcoal drawings. Many of the sculptures have subsequently been cast in bronze, often with such subtlety that every fragile detail of plaster and straw is reproduced.

The study of anatomy and the discipline of drawing cannot be underestimated in Nicola Hicks' work. Although not concerned with mimetic representation her achievement is founded on a unique ability to capture the physicality and psychology of the animal and human figures she creates.

Since 1984, she has had a number of successful solo exhibitions and has exhibited her work in India, Japan, America and Canada as well as across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

In 1987 she accompanied the Henry Moore Memorial Exhibition to India, giving lectures and workshops, and working with Indian artists. Two years later she set up studio in Sydney, Australia in order to work in the bush.

Hicks' work often combines charm and menace in equal and sometimes devastating measures.

Robert Heller recalled:

The only thing precocious about that one-day show was the artist's age: she was only 24. But the work had a maturity of concept and sureness of execution that defied precocity. The life-sized dying bull of straw and hessian, in particular, was a terrifying work, whose physical frailty contrasted with its colossal psychic presence.

The Gallery quickly invited Hicks to join its permanent family of artists, and her first one-person show followed in 1985. Such discovery of new talent for the Gallery was a welcome by0product of the annual Artist of the Day fortnight.

Hicks was by no means unrecognised, though. She was still a student at the Royal College of Art (having got her degree at Chelsea), but had already featured in mixed exhibitions at locales ranging from Christies to Liverpool via Ruskin College. In 1985 however her career blossomed. In addition to the Flowers show, her work was exhibited in Kettle's Yard, the Hayward Annual, New York, Serpentine, etc. 

No Ordinary Beasts, The ever-widening bestiary of Nicola Hicks, Sculpture and drawings 1985-92 

Robert Heller, Nicola Hicks, Sculpture and Drawings, Flowers East at London Fields, 1993

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