Making Things For Myself
Widely renowned for working on a monumental scale, this presentation focuses on rare smaller sculptures by British artist Nicola Hicks, including works in bronze and for the first time, special studio cast plasters. Creating small-scale works during 2020 has allowed Hicks to embrace a year in which existing plans have been postponed and given her the room, both mentally and physically, to continue to create at home and in her studio in South London: "The small works are me remembering to play, rediscovering my joy in the studio. Making things for myself. Trying just to be."
Hicks’ practice has centred around a world of heroic sculptural figures for over four decades. Exploring an anthropomorphic relationship to the animal world, her works illustrate the human-like emotions of animals as well as the beast-like qualities of man. Although rooted in an enduring interest in anatomy and observations of life, Hicks believes that her works are essentially about evoking a strong visceral response and have little to do with reality and visual fact. This is evident through references to mythology as well as in her methods. Hicks does not work from life but rather from her imagination, manipulating the straw and plaster until it captures the creatures’ spiritual energy.
I adore and respect all living things, it’s just that I connect more with some than others. Bears, elephants, horses, dogs, owls and crows; we seem to see eye to eye and it’s a marvellous thing. I don’t wish to examine this at all, it’s perfect as it is. I do love a camel and a pangolin but I couldn’t possibly make sculptures of them, there’s no room in my head. - Nicola Hicks, 2021
Scale is the root of all good art. Best not to analyse it too much. The right materials are the ones that allow the form to grow with the least interruption. Modelling is drawing in space and carving is revealing, more like rubbing out really, engaging but limiting for me. - Nicola Hicks, 2021
Miniature Bear from Dump, 2019
24 x 17 x 20 cm
9 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 7 7/8 in
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