Nicole Tucker
Background Picture of Archive

Brief

Nicola, a graduate with honours in Art and Aesthetics, has taught English and Communication studies for many years. Nicola is an international mediator who teaches privately and lives for her family and love of art. She is highly respected within many communities both locally and globally. Her talents for organising events and fundraising are widely sought.

Due to Nicola’s interest in conflict art she was asked by local Goverment to both curate and participate in the Holocaust Memorial events for the country.

Her previous exhibition The Gift, showed a collection of drawings and paintings recounting the journey of people Nicola met and whom she travelled with in Ethiopia during the war of 1992 and 1993. During these self funded trips Nicola established, maintained and registered a clinic designed to aid people who had become maimed due to landmines. She also travelled with The Foreign Legion into remote areas, locating and helping people who had been shot or become disfigured due to the conflict.

Her work with critically injured people in remote areas was recognized by the Foreign Legion in its award of the Medal For Bravery'. These experiences have driven the spirit of her work since.

Appointments

Simon Wiesenthal UK representative 2007-Present

Current activities

August - October 2011 New : eMpTy Torso exhibiton and drawings at the City Museum of wroclaw Warsaw and Berlin at the Gallery Na Solnym

July - August 2011 Exhibtions and film screenings on behalf of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Los Angeles. Summer programme at Cambridge University and Saatchi Shul London

May 2011 Los Angeles Simon Wiesenthal Centre award for dedication to Human Rights awarded by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Outreach Director

March April 2011 Artist in residence - Magdalen College Oxford - working with students through various academic routes to explore issues of trauma and conflict during WWII

Statement

It’s difficult for an artist to write about his or her artwork... for it should be viewed and discussed by others...Through teaching with different communities I’m aware of the feelings of levels of difference and uncertainty between people.

I have tried desperately to bridge the gaps between communities and individuals for many complex situations.

I aim to connect with my audience through my art. If dialogue occurs, perhaps, as people, we will be able to share our differences and accept each other. Art bridges so many barriers. To engage others in this research, I hope to explore people’s individual ideas of conflict and to encourage them to share feelings.

If we can become familiar with each other’s fears, perhaps we will find that we all hold similar fears of being ousted/ rejected etc.

Recognising and identifying factors which contribute towards the complex process of hating another person is an area which needs addressing.

My art work is abstract, diverse and multifaceted. It comprises drawing books, paintings sculpture and installations, all executed in the field and through exploratory journals relating to travels and experience of war, both during and post events in Eretria, Somalia, Bosnia and Auschwitz.

The representation of war in art has become an area of importance, particularly in light of recent world events.

My work explicitly refers to conflict - in particular, it relates to the Holocaust. I favour abstracted art as its engaging on many levels and can appear to be neutral in form.

As an artist I wish to engage with the public and discuss difference which would, hopefully, encourage a language between communities globally and forge a way forward to understanding and accepting diversity.

There are a number of recurrent themes in my work:

Attention is given to both personal and collective experiences of travelling with different races, both during and post conflict. Many of the prayer shawl studies were executed in Ethiopia and the old Jewish quarter in Krakow and Warsaw. The abstraction is deliberate, although people have identified and connected with the themes presented. There is a great interest in the traces and remnants of structures – especially those linked to conflict.

Decaying walls and a feeling of abandonment is something I return to often. My lathe and plaster wall studies which resemble any old building is directly linked to buildings destroyed as a result of war. The past breaks through exposing worn texture, evoking a sense of time passing.

The Gift

Recounts some of the humane experiences, Nicola encountered during the war in Eretria, Ethiopia, 1992-1993. This suite of works includes prints, 'colographs', paintings and lithographs.

Archive

Set of paintings, prints drawings and textile studies of garments belonging to those who were in conflict situations.

Shtetls

A series of 9-10 ft. high handmade pieces with the inclusion of 200 years old pieces of oak.

The shtetl (Yiddish word meaning ' little town' was typically a small town with a large Jewish population in pre-Holocaust Central and Eastern Europe). This word developed during the 16th century when Jewish people were invited by the landowners to constitute the urban commercial class on their lands

Jewish life over the next few centuries grew in all areas, making the shtetl a unique social and cultural habitat where all were welcome. In the shtetl, life revolved around family, home life, the synagogue, and trade

The Jewish calendar with its Sabbaths and traditions was interrupted by the vicissitudes of life and death. All men were equal. The Shtetl community cared for all and involved all.

During the 19th century, the shtetl and its way of life spread throughout Russia Austria and Hungary. Sadly due to forced migration and pogroms some 20,000 Jewish people were expelled by Alexander II during 1881. Persecution and anti-Semitism grew and throughout the 20th century, the stench of Nationalistic behaviour and Nazism destroyed a race of people and the Shtetl life became diluted to invisibility.