Art allows us to say and show things that – often – can’t be said. Traces, memories, stories, and sensations that are too fleeting, too complicated, too difficult to say can appear in images and objects. The work of Nicky Wilson’s is a practice that is dedicated to showing those things that don’t lend themselves to being easily said or spoken.
Coming from a background of working in illustration, it was during lockdown that Nicky re-discovered her passion for making images and objects. Her work opens up the possibility of questioning and answering and sharing our desire to know and be attentive to the unknown and unsaid. Using an approach based on creating a safe but unsettling sense of uncertainty, her practice evokes a child-like approach to seeing the world. It explores scale and distortion – of things being dauntingly out of scale or bizarrely (and often humorously) ‘out of place’; the work uses processes like papier-mâché, drawing on instinct and impulse, and embraces imperfection and the unexpected.
This playful approach allows her to contend with complex, distressing subjects, such as her past trauma of surviving an abusive mother and living with the aftermath of that experience. She has found solace in her artmaking because it has allowed her to discover a voice to say those things that refuse easy articulation. Her art also explores her British/Ukrainian heritage. Her work therefore aims to nurture and use the creative process to open dialogues about child abuse and intergenerational traumas and histories.
Nicky has exhibited widely including recent exhibitions such as the 2019 New Designers show. She was awarded the Dean’s Award for the Manchester School of Art Sketchbook Prize and has, over the past three years, been commissioned by local record label, Sour Grapes Records, to create gig posters for venues such as; Projekts MCR Skatepark, Big Hands, Gullivers, Deaf Institute, and Night & Day Cafe.
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