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“From a personal point of view, I have always found it easier to center myself in an ornate space and although there is a current push towards the pared back, I am attracted to the unbridled flamboyance of Baroque. The storytelling and emotion evoking imagery resonates with me and I have had visceral reactions to lapis and gold since my childhood, when I sought out travel books in the library. I also like the theatrical element of curtains opening and the story being revealed.
My work is never planned out at the beginning. Often there is one strong image to begin with, that evokes a feeling and then the other elements are built around this, always trying to achieve that ever elusive balance. Although there is a lot of detail, there is an intuitive process to develop each painting.  This can often pose problems to solve within the work, because of my enthusiasm to get the first feeling down.
The altarpieces in the show present an outer shell and an inner hidden story. The imagery depicted all have their own unique meanings. The Magnolia represents perseverance,  the Lily – protection, the Urn – holding, carrying, the Scallop – the Camino Pilgrimage, the Tree – growth and the use of Latin in my works reflects the human condition facing the same struggles and questions throughout the ages.”
Nicky Foreman 2019
Nicky Foreman 'Encompass'

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 her work.