When I try to draw or paint, it just ends up as one big mess. When Nicola Wiltshire, 28, paints, she creates an emotion. Nicola has always painted, and she tries to explore the magic of life on a normal and every day level.
After doing an undergraduate fine art course in London she moved to Dundee to study a masters in art and humanities. Her recent exhibitions have included Newave gallery in Aberdeen as well as workshops at Mcmanus Galleries in Dundee.
“I have a lot of family in Aberdeen who are aware of Newave gallery, so I was always checking things,” said Nicola.
“They had an open call for a group exhibition and I applied to that and got through.”
The exhibition, called Stuffed, included many works from artists living around Scotland, including Nicola.
“Apparently it went really well. All my business cards were going, which is always good,” said the artist.
“I love Aberdeen, it’s a great city.”
Nicola works part time in a fabric shop and uses different fabrics over a wooden frame to paint on. This gives her different textures and colours to work with. After her degrees she has used her education to help her become a more confidant artist.
“I’m academic but I’m not interested in being an academic artist because they can just get involved with things like writing essays,” she said.
“Now I am more confidant and I understand my practice a bit more.
“I’m just concentrating on getting my work out there and hopefully people will buy it and take it home.”
Nicola uses the textures and colours to study people and nature. The use of fabrics allow her to remain experimental and playful in her art while being interested in people and how, wherever you go, they are the same.
“They have the same feelings and urges and happiness, sadness and loneliness,” she said.
“I’m trying to make everyone feel like they are in my paintings, even though they might be different and have brown hair or whatever. It gives people the same sense of purpose in life.”
With several awards under her belt, including the Leonardo Da Vinci project for ceramics painting in Portugal and the Dundee visual artists and craft makers award, Nicola applied to a project where she could research the use of fabrics around Scotland.
“London was a very special place in the world as it is a great place for learning and developing, but I think sometimes being away from all the exhibitions gives you the chance to reflect and develop your own style,” she said.
“I think that Scotland gives you that breathing space because of the places like the mountains and forests and nature.
“It is easier to be yourself and develop something away from all the chaos of London.”
See www.nicolawiltshire.com for details on her upcoming exhibitions.