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Art Works: Nicholas Wright

13 July 15 words: Art Works
This local artist lets us in on his artistic process and the things he gets up to when he's not drawing really detailed balls of fire
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Centre of the Sun

This piece is a combination of mandalas, Rorschach inkblots, graffiti, stoner art, and forced meditative doodling. One friend commented that these drawings were very ‘male’. I have no idea how you can assign a sex to an inanimate object, but I was happy as it broke the barrier of imagery as simple decoration. The boobs, rockets and mushrooms could all be read as sexually overt. Or I could just be drawing mushrooms and boobs and guns. I leave this ambiguity to the viewer.

I draw these images in circles because of the ink’s predisposition to pool and make its own patina on the surface. Also because of the affiliation to nature and the circle of life. Most of these images are drawn with either a dip pen and Indian ink, or with one of my trusty Rotring art pens, as well as dripping, pooling and flicking watercolour and acrylic before drawing on top of the colour circle.

It took about a week to make Centre of the Sun. I started it at the end of 2014, fell out with the drawing, then came back to it in 2015. I have a studio, but this was done in front of the television. Some work can take a long time so I pick it up and continue wherever.

These drawings developed from a show called The Garden of Modern Delights, exhibited at Harrington Mills studio. They were a modernisation of concepts behind Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, which was part of a triptych showing humankind’s sins in a very Old Testament manner. I altered that allegorical element to suit the modern, hedonistic, advertising-heavy culture we live in. I wanted to continue exploring my own drawing style without the historical conceptual elements, hence the use of circles and a simpler colour palette.

As well as being a full-time artist with a day job, I co-run a project called Wrong Pong – ping pong but with obstacles and angled surfaces. We’ll hopefully be running Wrong Pong tournaments at Splendour and Bestival this year. I’m also a veejay. I’ve worked on the visuals for Mimm gigs, including Gilles Peterson and Nightmares on Wax, as well as for major artists and festivals like Kendal Calling.

I went to art college, then to NTU for a graphic design degree. I tried to forget everything I learned so as to make something that belonged to me. I’m not saying don’t go to art college, I am saying run to it and demand creativity. People think they can run the world from behind a calculator, but someone had to think of the calculator’s design, create the injection moulding for the case, and that all has basis in art and design. Without creative endeavour, England loses much of its identity.

I’d love to create a huge mural as a commission. I am currently converting my studio into a mini gallery-cum-art lab. It’s a dream of mine to offer artists a space to develop a new idea, or have an installation of my own without a gallery telling me I can't paint on the floor.

Nicholas Wright website

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