From the seven artists selected for The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious (at CGP London until 21 September), Nigel Kingsbury was chosen for the coveted prize of a solo show at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery in Duke Street, London (from 17 – 22 November), by Curator Vivienne Roberts.
Born in 1949, Nigel has been a key member of Action Space; a London-based visual arts organisation supporting the development of artists with learning disabilities, for nearly 10 years. He has exhibited widely as part of the group and has been selected for Studio Voltaire’s prestigious Members Show on three occasions.
Nigel’s fine, delicate portraits depict women as mystical goddesses attired in glamorous ball gowns, decadent outfits and floating dresses. Each picture is unique, sometimes drawn from memory, sometimes of those in close proximity, but always of women he likes and is inspired by.
Drawing virtually every day, Nigel has produced images of women since his 20s. During his time spent in hospital, he was inspired by the nurses, and when at home, he would source images by recording TV programmes and freeze framing selected women to sketch. This fascination with the female form inspires Nigel to create drawings with a frequently mysterious and eerie quality, although his idolisation of the figure in such a rare and carefully observed manner is far removed from contemporary issues of gender stereotyping.
Nigel’s artistic talent has always been appreciated and supported by his family, particularly his father, an inventor, who created a studio space with a customised drawing board for him at home.
Action Space’s artist tutor, Charlotte Hollinshead, says of working with Nigel: “He is a true and dedicated artist with an absolute passion for his art. The love and care Nigel invests in his drawings is apparent in every pencil line. His drawing is unpredictable and it is always a wonder watching as each of his carefully sketched figures develops. It is a privilege to work alongside such a talented, sensitive and unique man.”