Sanctuary is Nicholas Carrick’s Chichester exhibition

Sanctuary is the name of Hove-based Nicholas Carrick’s exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Contemporary until October 7.
Nick Carrick (contributed pic)Nick Carrick (contributed pic)
Nick Carrick (contributed pic)

“The idea for the exhibition came about when Louise Cameron, a major collector of my work, who lives in Chichester, introduced me to the Oxmarket Gallery and encouraged me to exhibit there. I was blown away when I saw the space which immediately resonated with me as the place of Sanctuary. That gave me the title for this exhibition Sanctuary for that is what my studio has become since lockdown. From a very early age I have travelled extensively with my family and been exposed to new cultures which has been a major source of inspiration for creating my work.

"During lockdown I was deprived of the oxygen of inspiration through travel and my paintings became more about revisiting places in my imagination and trying to capture the emotive experience of how it felt to be there. My work moved away from being a clear documentation of the place to a more abstract composition reflecting a romantic idea of being somewhere.

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“Recurring motifs such as mountains, paths and trees take on a new meaning and raise existential questions about life. The paths can convey escapism or path to enlightenment, the mountains perhaps the human struggle we all face and the trees can provide shelter from the eye of the storm.

“With each painting, I end up creating my own imaginary landscape to become a safe place enclosed from the worries of the world, which I am controlling by adding or subtracting from an idyllic Eden.

"I do this by rendering the surface of each painting with many layers of paint, waiting for them to dry and then sanding it down until slowly the painting takes on a life of its own. All of the paintings in this exhibition have been created in my studio, some more abstract than others, using an explosion of primary colours that will hopefully provide the viewer with a joyful experience. The exhibition provides a chapter in my life, now in my 40s, with an opportunity to look back and look forward. The beautiful restored old gothic building of the Oxmarket is a sanctuary and the perfect place to mount this exhibition.”

Nicholas added: “I was born in Stamford in Lincolnshire.

"As a young boy I was introduced to the process of creating things by my father’s involvement in the renovation of buildings, seeing buildings being pared back to reveal original architectural features, and then being added to, to create wonderful news spaces. It influenced me into making things and I wanted to do this through the medium of painting. I studied a foundation course in Chelsea School of Art in 1996 to1997, then a BA at Coventry School of Art, finishing with an honours degree in 2001. I moved to London to work at the Royal Academy where I participated in the installation of various exhibitions.”