During a seven-year sabbatical from the city that saw Hicks relocate to Cumbria, animals increasingly became the focus of her work. Returning to London this year, her critical attentions shifted in accord with her changing environment. With a perpetually metamorphosing landscape replaced by a fabricated score of urban semaphores, Hicks developed a body of work attuned to a different set of earthly creatures.
Hicks describes this motley cast of characters as her very own 'Battersea Figures', and traces their lineage from the early fi gurines produced by the Chelsea porcelain factory in the mid-eighteenth century, via the ceramics of Pablo Picasso emerging two centuries later. The common thread linking these apparently disparate sources lies, for Hicks, in a shared language of 'exquisite looseness'.