Fay Nicolson plays with the physicality of images and possibilities for formal and material transformation through repetition. Notions of process, documentation, narrative and abstraction weave throughout her practice, with final works existing as fragments of a wider aesthetic project.
OVER AND OVER PURE FORM presents a body of interconnected works exploring embodied learning and the distance between experience and images. Fay presents selected works from a series of large, rhythmic screen-prints. These play with the idea of the textile as a structured image, slowly layered and laboured to form a complex but coherent surface. The writings and works of modern textile designers Anni Albers and Gunta Stolzl form a reference point for Fay’s fascination with textile works.
Fay combines silk-screen stencils with paint to develop a visual lexicon of gestures and marks derived from photographs of rippled fabric, isolated limbs or digital brush marks. These are combined in different variations on unstretched canvas to create works that are reminiscent of textiles, abstract paintings or visual scores.
Fay uses these prints as visual or architectural backdrops for photographic works that explore the possibility of developing an embodied aesthetic understanding through playful postures and repeated gestures. In these photographs the body is treated as a structure or material to be manipulated for visual effect. These gestures are drawn from Fay’s experience of dancing in both her local Ukrainian Club and Dance school as a child and are channelled through a love of modern minimal music and choreography.
The title OVER AND OVER PURE FORM is taken from the diaries of Oskar Schlemmer, the Master of Form at the Bauhaus theatre workshop. Fay is fascinated by the erosion of objective narratives through the personal, marginal and unofficial. The reference to Schlemmer’s diary opens up a space for subjective reflection; butting personal desires and daily disappointments up against the order of geometric abstraction and elemental form.
Fay Nicolson (Derby 1984) is based in London and has an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art (2011) and a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2006). Solo exhibitions include: PLAY SENSE, as part of a residency at Gerald Moore Gallery, London, UK (2015); A P E L, Almanac Projects, London, UK; P A R E, West Lane South, London, UK; WORK WITH MATERIAL, Künstlerhaus Vienna, AT (all 2013); and Bad Signs, PLAZA PLAZA, London, UK (2012).
Recent selected group shows include: ELAPSE / END, Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, ES; as it seems, COSAR HTM, Düsseldorf, DE; PALOURDE CUITES, Christopher Crescent, Brussels, BE; MOSTYN Open 19, Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, UK; The Decorator and the Thief (...), NGCA and University of Sunderland, UK; Exquisite Collapse, blip blip blip, Leeds, UK (all 2015); ACCORDION, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, UK; Before Breakfast we talked about the furthest possible point before it all disappeared, Tenderpixel, London (both 2014); Open Cube, White Cube, London, UK; Mind Rhymes, Hidde van Seggelen Gallery, London, UK (both 2013). In July Fay has a forthcoming group exhibition at Frutta, Rome, IT.