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
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
by-product 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 Christie's 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,
No Ordinary Beasts, The
ever-widening bestiary of Nicola Hicks, Sculpture and drawings
Robert Heller, Nicola Hicks, Sculpture
and Drawings, Flowers East at London Fields, 1993