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Nicola Hicks and Her Animal Sculptures

Edition 3/6, 2015
Plaster (to be cast in bronze)
47.25 x 19.75 x 19.75 inches

THE ARTIST: Nicola Hicks

BEST KNOWN FOR: Perceptive and prickly sculptures of animals

BORN TO BE A COWBOY—OR AN ARTIST: “I grew up in a rather gritty area in inner-city London; a very happy childhood but very innocent in terms of worldliness. Not every family had a TV. When I did see a TV, it was the Westerns that I loved. I wanted to be a cowboy; that was my life plan till about the age of 10. The thrill of the Wild West has never left me.”

ON ANIMALS AND INVENTION: “I think I enjoy making animal forms so much because the slight degree of separation [from the human form] leaves more room for creative imagination. When I’m working with the human figure, I am somehow continually and irritatingly hauled back to reality. With the less familiar anatomy I feel free to invent and play.”

THE SPECIAL MEANING OF BEARS: “From the magic of the Ursa Major constellation to Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear stories that taught me to read; Ted Hughes poetry; a chance encounter with a performing bear at dusk in a remote hill station in India; my true friend and childhood companion Ted, my teddy, with his button eyes and all my secrets; to the rescued bears I visit near London. They’re all stored away in my head library.”

MATERIALS DON’T MATTER: “The materials I use must be inert and utterly devoid of character in order that they never dictate a form. I deeply resent anything even remotely bossy. The whole point is to me they don’t matter. Any stuff lying around that I can stick together is fine, and plaster is a practical glue for my purpose.”

ON PROCESS: “I try not to have much of a consistent process because it’s the adventure into the unknown that allows for mistakes and accidents and that’s the exciting territory where great things happen. Or not; it’s a thrill.”

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