‘For language is in every case not only communication of the communicable but also, at the same time, a symbol of the noncommunicable.’WALTER BENJAMIN
Nikki received a first-class honours BA degree in Fine Craft Design (Textiles) from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 1996. She has exhibited her art internationally, as far afield as Tel Aviv, New Zealand, and Japan, and in nationally acclaimed museums such as the V&A, both curating and managing group shows. Her work is held in private and public collections. Alongside this practice she was Head of Art for over 15 years (across secondary – independent and state sectors). Nikki is committed practitioner in arts education, both in formal and non-formal gallery settings. Her research led her to write for several educational publications and to sit on the editorial board for the International Journal for Art and Design Education. In 2008 she graduated with an MPhil in Arts & Culture in Education (Cambridge University) which developed her experience working with educationally excluded young people.
She lives and works in Suffolk, with her 3 children and partner, artist, Keith Hopewell. In her most recent body of work, Nikki made a forensic investigation of the traces & artefacts left by her partner’s practice, including discarded canvas tests, wood off-cuts, horsehair & the empty protective suit worn by Keith during the making of his paintings. Here Nikki explored object-language & hyper-textual relationships, responding to Keith’s process & methodology, opening new lines of enquiry & interpretation. In sum, Nikki’s mixed approach to her practice evolves around the democratisation of historically stigmatised mediums. Drawing on the essence of the lived experience as a woman and why we make art.
Following a training in textile restoration at Hampton Court Palace, London, Nikki went on to complete her BA (hons) in Fine Craft design at the University of Ulster, Belfast in 1996. A move far away from her hometown of Cambridge. In her third year she specialised in textiles, producing a collection of Avant Garde clothing which was later purchased by the University to form part of their permanent collection. Shown both as gallery installation and on the catwalk, this body of work pushed the boundaries of the traditional Japanese resist dye technique ‘Shibori’ (to wring, squeeze or press). Following Nikki’s graduation, she has exhibited textiles internationally, with pieces held in private and public collections, and shown in events such as The World of Wearable Art in New Zealand.
Although not exclusively working with textiles now, Nikki’s interest in clothing, the body, performance and anthropological observation is inherent in her work as much as it ever was.
Painting & Print
A natural colourist and pattern maker, Nikki has continued to explore print and painted media, exhibiting it alongside her three- dimensional work, overlaying it digitally over photographs, painting and appropriating any surface from walls, detritus and found objects.