Nicola Slattery RBA
Nicola Slattery RBA  

Artist Statements - from Nicola Slattery

"In March 2017 Richard Starzak (known as Golly) of Aardman and Shaun the Sheep fame bought one of my paintings. He very kindly sent me the drawing on the left which shows clearly that this is a sheep with much talent.


I have found a lot of inspiration from sheep and have a few living near me as neighbours. However none has yet shown much interest in painting. Whilst a quick glance at a field of sheep can give the impression that they are all pretty much alike I have learnt that each one has a very distinct personality if you spend any time getting to know them. 


We share our planet with many kinds of sentient creatures and they all appear to live lightly on its surface. My work tries to reflect this way of being and I think Shaun shares similar artistic goals."  


  Nicola Slattery 1st April 2017

Recently I took part in a survey on how artists make a living - I hope it wasn't a phishing scam by the Tax man. Anyway after answering lots of details on sources of income and expenditure it ended with an open request for any other comment.


This is what came to mind:

"I cannot imagine not being an artist. It is a part of my life like being a mother or being a wife. It pays the bills - well some of them, and it enables me to communicate with people through a visual language which I could never do verbally. It is hard for me to describe in words ( maybe that's why I create images ) but for me creating art is what I do - its like breathing or talking to people or washing up or brushing my teeth.. its just what I do as part of my life and I enjoy it."

Nicola Slattery March 2016 

"An Israeli "Hakomi" Therapist (see below) who uses my images on her web site once told me that she thought my work had aspects of "Metta". Being unfamiliar with the term I looked it up and was pleased to see in the definition the concept of "loving kindness" with origins in the Buddhist traditions. I do not actively practice any religion but I do hope she is correct about my work. I very much believe there should be more "loving kindness" in the universe and if I can add some small atom of it to this planet, then I will be pleased.


In my early career as an artist I took much of my inspiration from stories, myths and legends. Over the years my work retained its figurative narrative elements but became much less literal. Images came to mind which someone said were perhaps images of stories not yet told. Increasingly people tell me they see aspects or resemblences of family in my work. This is not a conscious or deliberate thing. I do wonder if my mind wanders off on its own, finds an image and brings it back to me in the way a child wanders off and picks some flowers then returns with them, to offer up to a grateful parent. I'm certainly grateful for the images my mind brings me from its wanderings.... I guess the the unconscious mind is a mysterious and wonderful thing. " 


Nicola Slattery January 2016

Knitting for Fish - a limited edition drypoint print
Hakomi - M I C H A L   B A R N E A - A S T R O G (PhD) is a researcher of psychoanalysis and Buddhism. A senior Hakomi trainer she teaches at the East Asian Studies Department at Tel Aviv University.  
Author: Psychoanalytic and Buddhist Reflections on Gentleness: Sensitivity, Fear, and the Drive Towards Truth (Routledge 2019)


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