Portrait of an Artist: Nicky Foreman
Filmed during her 2017 exhibition, Minutiae, at ARTIS Gallery.
Nicky Foreman was born in Waitara, Taranaki in 1970. She attended Elam School of Fine Arts Auckland University 1988 – 1991 and graduated BFA 1992. First exhibiting in Auckland and New Plymouth in 1992, Foreman has exhibited regularly in Auckland, New Plymouth and Christchurch ever since.
From the onset, she has worked in a compartmentalized format. Foreman’s work can be viewed twofold – in small icon-like pieces and as the whole. Her work is concerned with taking everyday objects and resetting them, so they might be viewed in a difference context – as precious and beautiful. Within this method of working Foreman plays off order against chaos, and abstract against figurative.
Foreman uses oil paint with an assemblage of other materials. She manipulates her materials and invents for herself new techniques that evolve through her everyday practice, giving a sense of alchemy to her artwork. Using gold, silver and copper leaf, wax, inks and shellacs, she engenders tactile historical surfaces.
For many years, Foreman has visited France on an annual basis. An overwhelming feature of Foreman’s current working practice is the fact that she has a strong connection with France. Her works are in essence, a hybrid of the two contrasting environments of France and New Zealand.
A love of Renaissance painting, particularly the often unnoticed details of foliage with their own symbolism, is evident in the artist’s work.