A balance of the mythical and the anthropomorphic, Nicola Hicks’ new show at Flowers gallery takes Aesop’s pranksters, villains and modest heroes as subject matter. This exceptional selection of new sculptures form a body of work surrounding contemporary themes, imbuing great energy and combining complex compositions with painstakingly detailed expressions.
More than just illustrations of the fairy tales, Hicks’ sculptures serve as a catalyst for her creative process, providing the foundation upon which to express her own personal visual language. The lively narrative has enabled Hicks to continue her investigation into the effects of gravity on the physicality and assemblage of the works
The raw-edged, tactile nature of these works epitomizes Hicks’ delight in sculpting. Plaster is blended and contoured into natural forms creating aesthetic qualities rich with spontaneity and strength so as to capture the essence of the characters.This, combined with the large scale of the sculptures forces us to confront the realities of the fables.
Rather than depicting the resolution of each of the fables, the animals are frozen in their moments of decision.The expression of the transitory moment serves to evoke the innate sensibilities of her subjects.The foolish crow has not yet dropped his cheese, unaware that soon he will be hungry and mocked on his branch.
Through Hicks’ vision and process Aesop’s Fables are brought together seamlessly and the fluent artistry of the work serves to bring life to this cast of bestiary; the charming, gentle creatures typically depicted in today’s children’s tales are rendered in the form of the powerful caveats they were designed to be.
Hicks has includes Aesop himself, the slave and author is poignantly portrayed as she imagines him, staring quietly on. Within this body of work, Hicks is not only exploring ideas of beauty but also of empathy. Camouflaged within mischievous humour is a refreshing hope that the humble could actually succeed over the proud.
82 Kingsland Road