Nichola Theakston has established herself as one of the UK’s foremost contemporary sculptors working within the animal genre. She exhibits across the UK and Europe and is collected internationally by those who appreciate her exceptional natural ability and skill, coupled with sensitivity and awareness of her subject.
Typically coil or slab built constructions, unique works are more freely conceived and less tightly constrained than limited edition works which may be sculpted over weeks on an armature. These sculptures are unique responses to a subject, and may form a small series or body of work evolving over time. Working in series facilitates the pursuit of an elusive idea or gesture that is not always captured immediately. It allows for experimentation and accident, but also a developing understanding of subject. A slight ambivalence in form may be balanced by an emphasis on emotion and expression. Work is often at risk during construction and the resulting fragility is integral to both concept and aesthetic.
The notion that an individual creature may experience some ‘otherness’ or spiritual dimension beyond our understanding of its instinctive animal behaviours, is the premise behind much of my work, and portraiture a vehicle to I use to explore feeling and expression. Primates in particular are an obvious and compelling choice of subject given their genetic proximity to human kind, and it is important to me that they are sculpted with sensitivity and empathy, inviting the viewer to relate and reflect.