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Nicky Hirst

Nicky Hirst has recently completed public art commissions for Great Ormond Street Hospital, Nuffield Department of Medicine at University of Oxford and Y Bwthyn Macmillan Specialist Care Unit in Wales. She was appointed as Parliament’s official Election Artist for the 2019 General Election and will be exhibiting the resulting artwork (date tbc) whilst simultaneously exhibiting at Domobaal, London.

Nicky Hirst in Real Time at Coleman Projects
Nicky Hirst 'Canterbury #tile63', 2020, digital print
Nicky Hirst 'Camberwell #infill63', digital print
'Real Time' installation view, Nicky Hirst

There is a stealth quality to Nicky Hirst's visual observations. She brings elements of the everyday into focus that we've already clocked in some way, but may have not recognised in terms of their full meaning potential. Her framing of sites and materials, through photography and collage, bring indiscriminate areas of life and lesser-known details of image-making history into view, in ways that connect us with the bigger picture. And always composed with a painterly eye and a wry awareness of art and pop cultural sensibilities. Hirst is currently fulfilling her role as the official election artist of 2019, locating visual imagery that speaks openly and poetically of the current social moment, and creating haiku out of the hyperbole surrounding political processes.

The digital photographs shown in 'Real Time' are part of a recent Instagram project, which traces her journey around the capital and fascination for minimal painting. Hazard tape and tiles sing with the compositional resonance of a Renaissance protest mantra; the diamond grids of perfunctory and historically significant portals offer routes through the mathematical construction of art and buildings into grubbier human narratives; while the lackadaisical plastering of a wall fix is captured in a manner that mines painterly significance from a moment of technical need. Follow @nickyhirst63 on Instagram for photo evidence of her dérives around the gallery's Bermondsey location.

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