Nicky Barfoot http://nickybarfoot.wordpress.com
Nicky’s art practice mixes stitch with more traditional fine art methods, techniques and concepts and takes inspiration from Pop Culture. Her work blurs the boundaries between high and low art and places itself between the definitions of Art and Craft with the common theme of humour running throughout.
Nicky’s strong interest in the human body stemming from her alter ego as a movement specialist and rehabilitator has been extended into the realms of aesthetics through her hand knitted Life “Paintings”. Here an accessible craft has been combined with the artistic respectability of the Life Room resulting in the knitted nude and the irony of depicting the naked human form in the materials more commonly used to hide and protect it. In 2013 these knitted paintings were awarded Silver in the UK Hand Knitting Association Knitted Textile Awards.
With her wall mounted dog heads Nicky has begun to explore how the viewer responds to knitted fabric in a three dimensional form, and investigated the fine line between sculpture and toy. By combining the comfort and familiarity of Woman’s Best Friend with the sculptural potential and inherent sense of humour of knitted fabric the result is a playful take on the intriguing and somewhat macabre art of stuffing, mounting and displaying dead animals. These 3D portraits of furry family members were awarded Gold at the 2014 Knitted Textile Awards.
Influenced by a childhood in the Tom and Jerry era, through her hand stitched and woven doodles Nicky explores the human condition using the unaffected simplicity of her four legged muses who are incapable of the often painful self awareness, awkwardness and embarrassment which can plague human interaction and consciousness.
Nicky is influenced and inspired by a wide range of artists and creatives, in particular the art of Keith Haring, Grayson Perry, Caroline Achaintre and William Wegman, the illustrations of Rupert Fawcett, and the writings of Terry Pratchett. Her work has been exhibited at the Knitting and Stitching Shows in London and Harrogate, Southampton City Art Gallery and other South Coast Galleries and she has also been featured in a number of National knitting magazines including “Knitting”, “Fabulous Knits” and “Knit Today”.