Nicola Green

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Green in her studio
Nicola Green

Nicola Green (born 1972) is an English portrait artist based in London. She rose to prominence as a portrait artist in the late 1990s and has gained recognition for her ability to draw out the essence of her subject, whether observing an individual or exploring wider social and cultural issues.

Working in a variety of mediums, Green seeks to understand and reveal human stories by creating her finished work from extensive primary material. In making her work, Green distils her subjects in a three-step process. The first stage consists of internalising her research: from her own photographs and sketches, newspapers, magazines and collected paraphernalia. She then reduces profile, gesture and context to the minimum information needed to maintain critical form. Using the printed medium as a drawing device, she experiments with pattern and repetition before settling on the final images.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Green graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, in 1998 with a distinction in Master of Fine Arts (MFA) following a first class honours degree in Drawing and Painting (BA), winning the Andrew Grant Bequest Scholarship in 1997 and 1998 and a Department for Education Scholarship in 1996. Green founded and directed Cockburn's Gallery in Edinburgh which concentrated on showing the work of Scottish art graduates from 1993 to 1997.


Green is a trustee of the Paintings in Hospitals charity and a patron of the Prince's Drawing School Drawing Clubs and is on the board of Edinburgh College of Art's alumni council. She is based in London with a studio at Bruce Castle museum, a residency at John Jones, and a studio in Finsbury Park.

Her works have been purchased for private collections including those of Hannah Rothschild, Gavin Turk, Nigella Lawson, Elle Macpherson, Richard Curtis, Emma Freud, Norman Cook, Angus Deayton, The Hons Nicholas and Charlotte Lloyd Webber, and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Her work has been acquired by public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Library of Congress, Washington DC, the Courtauld Institute, London, Edinburgh University, the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, Anti-Slavery International, London, Glenhyrst Gallery of Brant, Canada, Royal National College for the Blind, UK, Paintings in Hospitals, UK, and Bruce Castle museum, London.

At art college, Green was influenced by the Northern European painters and Glasgow School (John Bellany, Ken Currie etc.) as well as the conceptual work of 'Young British Artist' friends in London such as Gavin Turk and Joshua Compston.

Green is represented by Flowers Gallery.


2013: Portrait of The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, The portrait of Lord Jonathan Sacks is a permanent gift donated by Laura and Barry Townsley to the collection of The Jewish Museum in London, and has been on public display since Wednesday 30th of October 2013. The editioned portrait will also be available to view at Flowers Gallery.

2013: Portrait of Elle Macpherson, The portrait was revealed in a special private view at the Australian High Commission, in the presence of the Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency, The Honourable Mike Rann, the model Elle Macpherson herself alongside the artist, Nicola Green, on the 19th of November 2013.

2012: Seb Coe – An Olympic Portrait, To celebrate Olympian ideals and the regeneration of the capital, Haringey Council commissioned Nicola Green to create an artwork centred on Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG. This work is on permanent exhibition at John Lewis' Stratford store, in the Stadium Suite.

2008–2010: In Seven Days..., A Portrait of a Presidential Campaign, launched at Harvard University (see "In Seven Days..." TIME review and The Boston Globe). Subsequently shown and acquired by the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

2007 and 2010: House Slave – Field Slave, A Portrait of Contemporary Slavery. This was made in collaboration with Anti-Slavery International, was exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London and Bruce Castle Museum, London, before being acquired by the International Slavery museum, Liverpool

2006 and 2008: BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London. "Oil paintings of children are fiendishly difficult to carry off...children's faces are free of complex emotions, untroubled ad unmarked by life's trials. They are very hard to paint without looking chocolate boxy, but this Green has somehow achieved" -Sarah Vine, The Times[2]

2003–2004: Green's Portrait of the World,The Laughing Record toured the U.K and USA. In 2005 it was the B-side to Peter Kay's Is This The Way To Amarillo a No. 1 hit in the U.K. Sound here.

Solo exhibitions
2017 Candida Stevens Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex (

2013: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

2013: Soane Museum, London.

2013: Flowers Gallery,[3] London.

2012: Stadium Suite, Olympic Park, London.

2011: Library of Congress,[4] Washington DC.

2010: Harvard University, Boston.

2010: Bruce Castle Museum, London.

2007: Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Group exhibitions

2014: London Art Fair[5]

2013: Pulse Contemporary Art Fair,[6] New York. The London Print Fair,[7] Royal Academy of Arts, London. The Loughborough Hotel, London.

2012: BlindArt, Moorfield Eye Hospital, London. Cultural Olympiad,[8] Haringey, London. Pellafort Press, London.

2011: BlindArt, Banbury Museum, Banbury.

2010: Inspired by Soane,[9] The Soane Museum, Banbury. Touching Art Touching You, Hove Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton. East Wing Collection, The Courtauld Institute, London.

2009: Permanent Collection, Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford.

2008: BlindArt, Museum of Modern Art, Wales. BP Portrait Award, exhibited at: National Portrait Gallery, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museum; Aberstwyth Arts Centre. A Sense of Space: The Blind Culture,[10] exhibited at: Mcintosh Gallery, Western University, Ontario; Glenhyrst Gallery of Brant, Canada. Touching Art Touching You,[11] Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. On Time, The Courtauld Institute, London.

2007: Permanent Collection, Ontario Glenhyrst Gallery of Brant, Canada. Boundless, Menier Chocolate Factory Gallery and Southwark Council, London.

2006: BP Portrait Award, exhibited at: National Portrait Gallery, London; Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museum; Royal West of England Academy, Britol. BlindArt USA, exhibited at: Andrew Heiskill Library for the Blind, New York; British Embassy, Washington D.C. Shoes- The Agony & Ecstasy,[12] exhibited at: Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; Norwich Castle Museum; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear; Tullie House Museum, Carlisle.

2005: Portraits 2005, Arndean Gallery, London. BlindArt, Royal College of Arts, London.

2004: New Sound New York, The Kitchen, New York. Winchester Festival of Art & The Mind, Winchester. Retrospective, 291 Gallery, London.

2003: A Laughing Portrait,[13] exhibited at: Cork Arts Festival, Ireland; Port Eliot Literary Festival, Cornwall; Royal Brompton Hospital, London; Your Shout Awards, Winchester.

Personal life[edit]

Green married Labour MP David Lammy in 2005;[14] they have two sons. Her father is Professor Sir Malcolm Green, physician founder of the British Lung Foundation.[15]


External links[edit]