nicola heindL

From ceramic wall installations and oils on wood to vibrant ink paintings on paper, Nicola combines delicate colours and textures with robust, sometimes rugged materials to produce work that celebrates natural forms with an exuberant, earthy vitality.

Nicola began practising as a fine artist in 2010 following a career in illustration. Embracing a new found freedom to experiment and innovate, she started a series of oils on wood that respond to influences ranging from Pre-Colombian textiles and indigenous art to the high desert rocky landscapes of New Mexico. 

Her ink and watercolour paintings harness the fluid spontaneity of unpredictable materials. Primitive shapes, organic patterns and erotic figures bloom from jewel-bright inks floated on earth coloured washes. In darker works Nicola uses the flare and bleed of inks to depict women consumed by pain and suffering who survive in the face of desolation.

Nicola’s intricate ceramic pieces resemble sea urchins, corals and anemones made from gritty glazed stoneware, unglazed porcelains and brown black clays of Santa Fe. When massed together in wall installations their slick and matt surfaces, dull tones and intense colours suggest fertile seascapes, an otherworldly counterpart to the arid desert.

A fascination with pattern, line and the rich proliferation and resilience of organic life underpins Nicola’s inventive approach as she works with the tactile qualities and chance outcomes offered by wide ranging media.

After graduating from Central St Martins, Nicola worked as an illustrator for magazines and newspapers and book publishers. Her main client has been Putumayo World Music for whom she created over 200 CD covers. Born in the UK, she lived in both London and Barcelona for many years and is now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.