NICOLA HICKS (b 1960)
For the past four decades, British artist Nicola Hicks' practice has centred around a world of heroic sculptural figures, exploring an anthropomorphic relationship to the animal world through portraits of humanised creatures and beast-like humans.
Hicks' works are unashamedly raw, her subjects ranging from a herd of worn out circus horses balancing on shaking legs, to a decaying, crow covered, ornamental bridge. Never afraid to shy away from darker content, in Hicks' 1986 work The Fields of Akeldama (The Fields of Blood) the artist repurposed a field in West Cork, carving the forms of dead and dying animals out of Irish clay; all only to be washed away by the rain, recalling scenes of animals revealed after a flood. Hicks now predominantly sculpts in plaster, casting her works later in bronze - due to this process her sculptures are at once monumental and vulnerable. Alongside her sculptural practice Hicks creates drawings using charcoal on brown paper. Hicks believes that both practices are mutually beneficial and reliant on the other.
Nicola Hicks received a BA from the Chelsea School of Artin 1982, followed by an MA in 1985 from the Royal College of Art, London. In 1995 Hicks was awarded an MBE for her contribution to the visual arts.
In 2017, alongside her large scale solo exhibition Wabbling Back to the fire, Elephant published Keep Dark, a monograph with essays by Will Self, Max Porter, Candia McWilliam and David Mamet.