Nicola Hicks

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Nicola Hicks MBE (born 1960, London) is an English sculptor, known for her works made using straw and plaster.


Recovered Memory, Sculpture at Schoenthal, 1996–97

Hicks studied at the Chelsea School of Art from 1978 to 1982 and at the Royal College of Art from 1982 to 1985.[1]

Animals are Hicks' primary subject matter, usually sculpted in straw and plaster.[1] This was unusual for an artist in the 1980s, by which time abstract sculpture and installation art had become the norm in the art world.[2] Hicks also works on huge sheets of brown paper on which she works up her dynamic charcoal drawings. Many of the sculptures have subsequently been cast in bronze, often with such subtlety that every detail of plaster and straw is reproduced.[3]

Hicks was recognised by Elisabeth Frink, who selected her for a solo exhibition at Angela Flowers Gallery in 1985.[2]

To accompany an exhibition at Flowers Gallery in 1993, Robert Heller said:

"The only thing precocious about that one-day show was the artist's age: she was only 24. But the work had a maturity of concept and sureness of execution that defied precocity. The life-sized dying bull of straw and hessian, in particular, was a terrifying work, whose physical frailty contrasted with its colossal psychic presence. The Gallery quickly invited Hicks to join its permanent family of artists, and her first one-person show followed in 1985. Such discovery of new talent for the Gallery was a welcome by product of the annual Artist of the Day fortnight. Hicks was by no means unrecognised, though. She was still a student at the Royal College of Art (having got her degree at Chelsea), but had already featured in mixed exhibitions at locales ranging from Christies to Liverpool via Ruskin College. In 1985, however, her career blossomed. In addition to the Flowers show, her work was exhibited in Kettle’s Yard, the Hayward Annual, New York, Serpentine, etc."[3]

Hicks has achieved success as an artist, creating public sculptures such as Beetle in Bristol and the second iteration of the Brown Dog Memorial in Battersea Park.[4] She has had major solo shows in leading museums and galleries in Britain and around the world, and was made an MBE in thee 1995 New Year Honours for her contribution to the visual arts.[when?][3] Hicks recently exhibited Black, 2008 in 'Exhibitionism' at the East Wing, Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House.[5]

Key exhibitions[edit]

Flowers Gallery East

Wabbling Back to the Fire, Flowers East, London, 19 September - 11 November 2017[6]

A solo exhibition.

Yale Center for British Art

Sculpture by Nicola Hicks - Yale Center for British Art, 14 November 2013 – 9 March 2014[7][8][9]
In this exhibition, Hicks's life-size sculptures are placed in the galleries amid objects of the Center's permanent collection, home to one of the world's most important collections of British art outside the UK.[10]

The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

Mark Leckey: Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition. [11][12]

This exhibition, curated by Turner prize-winning artist Mark Leckey, explores how our relationships with artworks and common objects alike are being transformed through new information technologies.


Exhibition Catalogues

  • Nicola Hicks: Sculpture & Drawings, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East, 1995] London.[13]
  • Fire & Brimstone, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East, 1991] London
  • A walk in the Park, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East, 2010] London
  • Sculpture, Drawing, Prints, Flowers, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East, 2007] London[14]
  • Nicola Hicks; Sculpture, Drawing & Light, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, 2005] Cumbria[15]
  • Nicola Hicks; Keep Dark, Published by Flowers Gallery and Elephant to coincide with the Wabbling Back to the Fire exhibition held at Flowers East, 2017 London[16]


  • Dellingpole, J., Denselow, A., Elliot, A. Read, B. and Self, W. (1999) Nicola Hicks, Momentum Publishing[12][17]
  • Lynton, N. (2004) Sculpture, Flowers, London,[18]
  • Self, W. (1998) The Camel That Broke the Straw's Back, Flowers East, London .[19]


  1. ^ a b Falconer, Morgan. "Hicks, Nicola." In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, (accessed 12 February 2012; subscription required).
  2. ^ a b "Nicola Hicks", at the Cass Sculpture Foundation. Includes detailed biography and analysis of the piece "Recovered Memory".
  3. ^ a b c "Nicola Hicks Biography". Flowers Gallery. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  4. ^ ""Beetle" by Nicola Hicks". Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Exhibitionism @ East Wing, Courtauld Institute of Art". Londonist. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  6. ^ "11 Exhibitions Not To Miss in September". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Sculpture by Nicola Hicks". Yale Center For British Art. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  8. ^ Smee, Sebastian (12 December 2013). "Hicks sculpts animals in the great British tradition". Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  9. ^ Doherty, Donna (18 January 2013). "Sculpture by Nicola Hicks at Yale Center for British Art". New Haven Register. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Yale Center for British Art". Architecture Week. 2 March 2005. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Mark Leckey, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things". Aesthetica. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e Leckey, Mark. "The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things". South Bank Centre. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  13. ^ Hicks, Nicola (1 February 1995). Nicola Hicks: Sculpture & Drawings. Djanogly Art Gallery. ISBN 9780950462271.
  14. ^ "Nicola Hicks: Sculpture, Drawing and Light". Abbot Hall Art Gallery. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  15. ^ King, Edward (18 January 2005). Nicola Hicks; Sculpture, Drawing & Light. Abbot Hall Art Gallery. ISBN 1902498186.
  16. ^ "Five Sculpture Shows to See in London". Elephant Magazine. 5 October 2017.
  17. ^ Read, Benedict; Elliot, Ann; Self, Will; Denselow, Anthony. Nicola Hicks. Momentum Publishing. ISBN 1873362897. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  18. ^ Lynton, Norbert (15 September 2004). Nicola Hicks; Sculpture. Flowers Gallery. ISBN 9781902945439.
  19. ^ Self, Will (1 January 1998). The Camel That Broke the Straw's Back. Flowers Gallery. ISBN 9781873362945.

External links[edit]