Little Bear, 2015
A profoundly talented draftsman and sculptor, Nicola Hicks captures a living truth in her art in a process that “comes through her”. Hicks is interested in life, and its expression in the human and animal body. For Hicks there is very little difference between the two. “We are bodies; we move, we reproduce, we are essentially beings”. Whether it be charcoal and chalk on paper, or straw, mud and plaster transformed into bronze, Hicks seeks to capture animal forms both familiar and new with extraordinary vividness that transcends mere visual fact. Hicks is an ‘artist’s artist,’ interested in the study of anatomy and the discipline of drawing, and she continually exercises her craft in weekly ‘life drawing’ sessions in her London studio.
Nicola Hicks was profoundly influenced by a trip from London to Jackson Hole in February 2014 when she was able to ride a sleigh through the National Elk Refuge. Observing and taking in the scenery and the nuances of the remarkable animals that surrounded her left a lasting impression on the British artist and served as a catalyst for many of the works in the exhibition. At times realistic, at other times fable-like, Nicola Hicks’ creatures capture something of the physical and psychological power of living beings, animalistic in form and body, yet uncannily human.
Born in London in 1960, Nicola Hicks studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London and holds an MA from Royal College of Art, London. She has been honored with an MBE, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for her contributions to the visual arts. Some recent highlights of her prolific career include solo exhibitions at the Flowers Gallery, London and New York, and The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, and group shows at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and the Martin Institute, Turin, Italy. Nicola Hicks’ work can be found in prestigious national and international public and private collections, including Tate, London, Chastworth House, Derbyshire, England and Chase Manhattan Bank, amongst others.