Nicola Godden BA (Hons) MRSS.
Nicola has been producing figurative sculpture, in bronze, for over 30 years. Large commissions have included ‘Icarus’ for the London 2012 Olympic Village, the ‘Sir Peter Scott’ sculpture in bronze for the London Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Barnes and ‘Hammersmith Man’ for the Hammersmith fly-over and ‘Survivor’ for Eastman Kodak H.Q. in the U.S. The bulk of Nicola’s work has been private work of various sizes exhibited in galleries in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States.
Recent works can be seen in the sculpture gallery where most of the bronze sculpture is for sale. Nicola’s artwork has changed enormously over time and gone through many phases depending on where the inspiration, to make sculpture, has come from.
Original pieces of sculpture are created in clay or plaster because it is fast and Nicola likes to get the ideas out quickly. Nicola starts with a metal supporting armature and uses aluminium wire to produce the rough shape she is after and goes from there, usually adding clay or plaster as fast as she can. Ideas are rarely drawn before working as Nicola likes to keep the spontaneity and get ideas as she works.
‘’My work is nearly always based on the human figure whether in an abstract form or in a more realistic way. I have always wanted to work from the human form because of the fascination I have with it and the feelings and emotions it conveys. What is important to me is not that the person viewing a piece of my sculpture experiences the same feelings and emotions that I do but rather that when looking at the piece they experience their own feelings and emotional response from it.
Ideas for a new sculpture can come from anywhere or anything. In the past I have been inspired by pieces of flint and bone which I found whilst out walking. I have quite a collection in the studio. My “Bone Form” series of figures began when I picked up part of a bone that I thought was beautiful and looked rather like a female torso. I like to see a human form in the stone or bone I find.
The essence of the subject is what connects with the viewer and delights or moves them in some way. It is immensely satisfying to know that other people are reacting in a way that uplifts them or moves them in a deep way. Something beautiful can create such intense pleasure in those that see it. I want to create artwork that has an emotional effect on the viewer and is also something that they want to touch, which is part of the beauty of a three dimensional form.
I don’t want my work to be completely understood from just one view. The idea with each piece of work is that the viewer is drawn around the piece. I try to create movement in each piece of work, sometimes with twists and turns or balance and angles. As the viewer walks around the sculpture each view is different and there can be surprises and unexpected interest. With the Olympic Icarus (Icarus I) I put a feather at the back of the base so that people would get a little surprise when they saw it lying there.
I enjoy the changes to my work, the different objects that stimulate my imagination and urge me to create something new which is why I often work on something completely new and different from previous work. I enjoy the change and stimulation.
I get a thrill from beginning a piece of work and not knowing where I am going with it. It will either work successfully or not. It doesn’t matter as I enjoy the process so much. The work is very tactile. I love the experience of working with either clay or plaster, they are quite different ways of working; both are fun and can be quite sensual ways of working. I love the physicality of working on a large piece and can work for hours and hours at a time without getting tired or losing my excitement.’’
“In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that cannot be explained.”