Nicky Hodge creates her abstract paintings quickly and performatively, making sweeping, gestural marks spontaneously and unconsciously. She paints with wet acrylic mixed with water on untreated raw canvas, sometimes going over the surface with a soft brush to blur the calligraphic marks into ethereal forms. The ensuing works are entirely abstract and expressive. “I never know what I’m going to do on a given day in terms of imagery, so the process is quite subconscious,” she says. “There is a flow between the works, and each canvas serves to inform the next as I work.”
Hodge lives in London and works from her garden studio in Nunhead. She studied fine art and critical studies at Central St Martin’s before embarking on her solo practice. She gained a postgraduate diploma in fine art at Goldsmiths College in 2015, which she pursued alongside working at the Government Art Collection as a curator. Since 2018, she has pursued her practice full-time. Her work has been exhibited in group and solo shows across Europe for the last 30 years, including a solo show titled Horse Gossip at Bobinska Brownlee in 2021 and a two-person show with German abstract artist Michael Kaul at Hart’s Lane Gallery in London in 2022.
Hodge works in a state of pure concentration, allowing spontaneity and chance to create surprising compositions. She is particularly moved by the work of Belgian artists, including Raoul De Keyser and Ilse D’Hollander. “I feel my paintings are vessels for conveying emotion,” she says. “Not necessarily for my emotions, but those of the viewer – some strong feeling that is not for me to decide.”