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Nicola Prinsen, a west coast artist, has been sculpting for over 24 years. She first studied ceramics, then figurative and portrait sculpture. Nicola’s formal training began in 1979 at the Ceramic Department of the University of Alberta where she studied under Noburo Kubo and Jack Forbes. Her experience in clay includes wheel thrown pottery, stoneware, Raku and both figurative and animal sculptures and bronzes.
For the past few years, Nicola’s subject matter has been based on her surroundings; forests, rural agriculture, the ocean and the animals that live in this setting. From otters to cows, crows to goats, in clay or bronze, Nicola explores the forms of these animals and undertakes a process of refinement by way of detailed studies and accurate depictions. Pushing the boundaries with these forms through distortion and exaggeration are part of Nicola’s creative process. The end result is a fusion of personality and simplicity. One cow will stand with a look, a shape or an angle that seems precarious and impossible. Another is rendered accurately, showing the skill of the artist.
Nicola’s goal is to simplify the form but never leave any doubt as to the identity of the particular animal. There is tension and serenity in this approach. It is veiled in humour, yet the longer one looks the more one realizes that the artist herself is serious.
Nicola served as a director for the Delta Arts Council in BC in 1998-2000 and was an Arts Alive committee member for the Southwest Regional Arts Council during 1996-1999. Her work is in private and corporate collections across Canada, United States, Germany, Holland, Japan, and Grand Cayman Islands.