Animals are her primary subject matter, usually sculpted in straw and plaster. This was unusual for an artist in the 80s, by which time abstract sculpture and installation art had become the norms in the art world. 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 fragile detail of plaster and straw is reproduced.
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.
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. She has had major solo shows in leading museums and galleries in Britain and around the world, and has already been honoured with a MBE for her contribution to the visual arts. Hicks recently exhibited Black, 2008 in 'Exhibitionism' at the East Wing, Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House 
Sculpture by Nicola Hicks at the Yale Center for British Art
14 November 2013 - 9 March 2014
In this exhibition, Nicola 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 animal paintings.
Mark Leckey: The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition
The Bluecoat, Liverpool, 16 February - 14 April 2013
Nottingham Contemporary, 27 April - 30 June 2013
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, 13 July - 20 October 2013
Venice Biennale (virtual exhibition), 1 June - 24 November 2013
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.
Brown Dog, Battersea Park, 1985
Recovered Memory, Sculpture at Schoenthal, 1996/7
Beetle, Bristol, 2000
- Falconer, Morgan. "Hicks, Nicola." In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, (accessed February 12, 2012; subscription required).
- "Nicola Hicks", at the Cass Sculpture Foundation. Includes detailed biography and analysis of the piece "Recovered Memory".
- "Beetle" by Nicola Hicks
- "Exhibitionism @ East Wing, Courtauld Institute Of Art". 25 January 2010.
- Nicola Hicks: Sculpture & Drawings, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers East, 1994] London
- 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
- Nicola Hicks; Sculpture, Drawing & Light, [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, 2005] Cumbria
- Dellingpole, J., Denselow, A., Elliot, A. Read, B. and Self, W. (1999) Nicola Hicks, Momentum Publishing
- Lynton, N. (2004) Sculpture, Flowers, London
- Self, W. (1998) The Camel That Broke the Straw's Back, Flowers East, London
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nicola Hicks.|
- Nicola Hicks website.
- Entry for Nicola Hicks on the Union List of Artist Names.
- Graham, Caz. Interview with Nicola Hicks, BBC Radio 4. 3 March 2005.
- Alberge, Dalya. "Animal, vegetable or mineral?: Nicola Hicks's animal sculptures involve plaster, pets and mountains of straw." The Independent. 8 February 1994.
- Flowers Gallery Nicola Hicks.