Nicki Heenan studied Community Arts at Goldsmiths University, London in 2006. Nicki has a background in chemistry (Auckland University) and classical painting (Sydney) and is an internationa tutor in Oil painting and Cold Wax medium in the UK, Ireland, US and Switzerland.
Nicki’s paintings are very much influenced by surface and substance. Colour is intuitively rendered in multi dimensional soft layers with glazing and wax infused with dry pigment. Nicki also works watercolours and pigments exploring new contemporary ways of working with these materials.
Key influences in Nicki’s work are writers and artists with a connection to the natural and ancient world. To examine details and in make depth studies of particular environments in Ireland, Nicki has undertaken residencies at the Burren School of Art and Ballinglen Arts Foundation where she is a Fellow. Work undertaken on residencies forms part of an ongoing research project into the Landscape and to the re wilding of meadows and riverbanks.
In 2016 she featured on Sky Landscape Artist of the Year Heat 5 and in 2018 she was a tutor on the Faculty of Europe’s largest Plein Air Painting Festival AITO in Wexford, Ireland.
Nicki Heenan has been included in many group shows including the Open Exhibitions at Mall Galleries, London - ROI, NEAC, RBA, RI, SWA. Recently Nicki was made a member of the Royal Watercolour Society of Wales.
“Though the artist must remain master of his craft, the surface, at times raised to the highest pitch of loveliness, should transmit to the beholder the sensation which possessed the artist” - Alfred Sisley
An exhibition of paintings reflecting on the poems of WB Yeats in the relationship between colour, texture and word.
Subtle references and direct naming of colours in WB Yeats work has a synaesthetic response to word and colour. I am synaesthetic towards colour and music so it was after spending much time delving into the depths of Yeats writings that I started to respond to this connection between word and colour. In fact not only to his sense of word and colour but also to sensory textures and sounds. Sometimes you can almost taste the words on your lips.
The paintings and words in this exhibition ‘Waters and the Wild’ inspire each other so revealing a deeper truth to our understanding of the metaphor of life which goes beyond description to becoming symbolic. There is a trio of elements of sound, colour and form which are integral parts of both poetry and painting and this also applies to music. Certainly some of these feelings arise more easily in either the early morning or twilight hours as we switch off to the buzz of the day to engage with the mysticism that is resplendent in dimmed not fully visible light.
Many of the paintings here in this show are from positions of low view point or a far distance where we are searching to make out the truth and seeking to identify with it. So it is, as when entering a darkened room that our senses must be given time to accustom to the new environment, looking at paintings and ‘reading’ them also requires time to see and absorb. The titles of the paintings in this exhibition are all drawn from words found in Yeats poems with a favorite quote being: “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”.
- Nicki Heenan, 2019
The Hyde Bridge Gallery