Sculptures are not for touching except with our eyes – much subtler than our fingers anyway – but our haptic sense is troubled by these wild surfaces, representing fur or flesh […] Nicola Hicks starts from the reality of figures and animals, and captures the living truth of them with extraordinary vividness even though she chooses, in the materials she uses in making most of her sculptures, not to stay with mere visual fact. She moves on, out of sheer love I think, to personalise her subjects and give them roles on the mental stage of her studio. These roles are mysterious, close to ancient myths, but interventions that must be wholly her own.
Norbert Lynton, 2003.
This exhibition brings together almost two decades of Hicks’ work in bronze: depictions that move between figure and fauna, launching a shattering assault on the imagination by conveying a colossal psychic presence, whilst revealing intricate hatchings suggestive of an unsettling physical fragility. Here, large-scale work from the 1990s and the last decade lead the eye – and the curiosity of the haptic/optic ‘viewer’ – into a mythical world in which the artist’s ‘mental stage’ is reconfigured as the dazzling phantasmagoria of the Circus.
Nicola Hicks was born in London in 1960. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and completed postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art. She has had several major solo shows in leading museums and galleries in Britain, most recently at the prestigious Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal.